It seems Noel Gallagher's (relatively) experimental era of Who Built The Moon is well and truly over after latest album Council Skies heralded his return to guitar-based songwriting. But the pandemic period he wrote it in was far more fruitful than previously thought; he says he's got enough material for another two albums and they could be very different. Who needs an Oasis reunion, eh?
"In the lockdown I wrote about the best part of 40 songs," he told Rolling Stone. "So this album was a cross-section of all the different styles that I'd done to that point, which is what I liked about the album. Pretty Boy was a bit like the electronic thing and then there was the Ballad thing and then there was the '60s thing and hen there was like a bit of a jazz thing with Council Skies. So I pick the best things that brought me to this place so far. But there is an acoustic album, as well, which is very stripped back – which I started recording actually recently before I came away [for his current US tour with the High Flying Birds]. And then those years are very heavily guitar bass stadium rock album.
“There is an acoustic album as well, which is very, very stripped back, and which I started recording recently,” he revealed to Rolling Stone: “And then there’s, a very heavily guitar-based, stadium-rock album.”
Rolling Stone then asked the obvious question – why didn't he release that one first?
"I don't know," replied Noel in a rare public display of uncertainty. "I've been proved right anyway in this decision because the album's [Council Skies] been received amazingly well. And better than any album I've ever had so far, so I've been proved right in that respect. But why didn't I go with that? I don't know. I guess because I didn't really know if stadium rock was going to be allowed anymore because of COVID and all that. I didn't know if there was going to be a tour or any of that s*** – things have changed drastically.
"But the guitar album, I'm looking forward to recording," Noel added. "But it's time I did an acoustic album, because I've got a lot of songs that are quite harrowing – they've obviously written in the time of the breakup [Noel is going through a divorce from his wife Sarah MacDonald after 22 years together]. So I want to get that out and then do a euphoric guitar record."
For Oasis fans, this will be the news they've been waiting for – well apart from the obvious reunion announcement that may never come. Noel's rocky and acoustic sides showcased on two different records? It's an open goal to the hearts of his fans, surely. And Noel had further catnip to offer on the acoustic side of things.
"It'll be Dead In The Water kind of thing," Noel mused about the acoustic record – referencing the Who Built The Moon bonus song that many fans regarded as his best song in years. "I'm gonna have to think long and hard about it," Noel said, again dropping his guard to a surprising degree. "Because fans and even I will go, 'Oh a f*****g acoustic album. But really, four songs like that in a row? Come on, it'll get boring, it'll get boring for me to listen to. So I'm gonna have to think of something. It'll be an acoustic album with a twist. It'll definitely be acoustic and not have to be any electronic instruments on it. That'll be the rule."
So with this many new Noel solo songs coming, maybe an Oasis reunion really isn't on his agenda. And that's not all – we have his collaboration with Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney to look forward to. A mutual love story has formed between the three, with the Black Keys duo calling Noel the 'Chord Lord'. He seems equally enthused with what they've created together – the fruits of which should appear on the next Black Keys album.
"We did a week in the studio in London and wrote three songs,” he told Rolling Stone. “And I’ve gotta tell you, they’re fucking amazing. They're really great”
Listen to the full Rolling Stone interview below.