Shirley Manson Talks About “Poppier” New Garbage Album

Just last month, we were excited to learn Garbage was in the middle of mixing their upcoming 7th studio album. And though we still have several months left before we can hear the new music, frontwoman Shirley Manson has revealed some exciting new details in a couple of interviews today. She talked about when it will be out, its poppier new sound, and some changing release strategies.

In an interview with SPIN, she first talked about where they’re at with recording and when we can hear it. Their original plan was to release it in early spring 2021, but now its release date is uncertain. But what is certain is that the record will sound different from Garbage’s latest albums. In addition to “lots of guitars,” it will also feature a “poppier” sound filled with melodies and hooks. We love Garbage’s poppier material from past albums, so consider us pretty excited!

Read Shirley’s exchange with SPIN about the new album:

What can you say about the new album? Can we know what it’s called or when it’s coming?
I could tell you, but I probably won’t because of the situation … We finished our record literally a week before lockdown really happened. So we got all the recording done, which was astounding for us, so we now have that record sort of in the can. It’s currently getting mixed, so there is action happening on that front, and it’s keeping us all sort of vaguely tethered to the real world. There were plans literally the week before the shutdown that we were going to release it in early spring of next year. Now I have no idea.

It’s certainly a different-sounding record than our last couple. It has lots of guitars, lots of melodies and hooks. It’s poppier than the last record. We were very inspired by the weird, subversive pop of Roxy Music — that was kind of our muse. Not that it sounds anything like Roxy music, but that was definitely something we thought about a lot.

I can’t wait to hear it; I hope we’re all around to hear it.
[Laughs.] You have now revealed yourself as to why you wanted to talk to me — you, too, have a heart of dark.

You can read Shirley’s full interview with SPIN here. She talks a lot about Garbage’s self-titled debut, which came out 25 years ago, before getting to the new record.

In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Shirley talked her podcast, The Jump, and about Garbage’s evolving plans to release music:

What’s the future of Garbage?
A bright future. The sad thing is, we were looking at the most fun year we’ve had in quite some time. We’re restructuring our business and changing the way we release records from the way that we have in the last eight years. We have a lot of touring lined up, which of course we can’t carry out. We have a new record being mixed as we speak that’s going to come out next year. We’ve got three more songs to go and then we’re done. And then we’ll concentrate on the artwork and start planning for next year. We were really excited. We were talking with our team this morning, and things are still looking hopeful.

You can read Shirley’s full interview with Rolling Stone here.

Between the two interviews, it sounds like the upcoming Garbage album will be quite different from their previous two. In terms of poppier music and even an updated release strategy, lucky #7 could be a huge departure from Not Your Kind Of People and Strange Little Birds. We’re intrigued! This is just one more reason to look forward to 2020 ending and ushering in a new (hopefully better) year.

Making the Album

Garbage first started working on new songs in spring 2017. That summer, we got a taste of their upcoming 7th album when they shared “No Horses” as a single. It was one of five songs they’d already started that year. They continued working on new songs early in 2018 and into that spring, though studio time halted when they toured in celebration of Version 2.0 turning 20.

For Record Store Day: Black Friday in late 2018, Garbage shared another new song; “Destroying Angels” was released more widely at the beginning of 2019. Whereas “No Horses” was apocalyptic, “Destroying Angels” was a murder song. It sounds like the next Garbage album will be pretty dark! Though, as they said February last year, it’ll be balanced out with some light, too. And, of course, sugar and spice and everything nice.

Following the 2018 celebration of the 20th anniversary of their sophomore album Version 2.0, Garbage spent much of early 2019 working on their upcoming 7th studio album. Last year they teased the “darkness and light” and “sugar and spice” they were creating in the studio. In April 2019, they were in the studio again. In mid-September, Garbage returned to the studio, announcing it as “Day 1” of recording the new album. Did that mark the official beginning of the recording and production, following months of writing and demoing? Or was it just “Day 1” of that particular session? It’s unclear, but we do know the band continued making progress! Garbage re-entered the studio in January and shared an update at the end of February.

Finally, at the end of March, drummer Butch Vig shared an update. In addition to saying the album was going into the mixing phase, he also shared a short clip of one of the new songs!

More Garbage News

Additional Clues

So far, we still know precious little about the sound of their forthcoming album. In June 2019, NME shared an interview with Shirley Manson about politics, the future of rock music, and, of course, their new album. She revealed that the music is “cinematic” and “pretty personal.”

Last October, Garbage teased fans with a handful of full and partial song titles, including the following:

  • [unreadable] About You
  • This City Will Kill You
  • The Creeps
  • [unreadable] K
  • Waiting For God To Show Up
  • Anonymous Sexx

Catch up on all that’s gone into making the album so far, and get ready for more studio updates as the band finishes mixing and mastering the record. We can expect to hear the “poppier” album in early or mid-2021. Keep checking back here for all the latest Garbage music news.

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