Today, Smith & Burrows released their long-awaited second album, Only Smith & Burrows Is Good Enough. It’s a charming and breezy album, a welcome contrast to the times we’ve been living in this past year. But the pandemic and lockdown have also proven creatively fertile for Tom Smith. In a series of recent interviews, he’s confirmed that he’s written plenty of new songs for Editors, started some new songs for Smith & Burrows, and even recorded a secret lockdown album! All of that is in addition to an album he’s been working on with Italian composer Luca D’Alberto. Let’s round up what we know about all of Tom’s upcoming projects and the promise of varied music to come.
Tom’s “Secret Lockdown Album”
Perhaps the most unexpected and exciting news this week is that Tom has recorded a full album! His “lockdown album” will evidently feature electronica-styled songs. Tom recorded it with “a couple of people,” though he didn’t specify who. If we had to guess, we’re thinking it’s related to whatever Tom was “scheming” last March and then in December when he was with Blanck Mass. More recently, he included Editors bandmates Justin Lockey and Elliott Williams on the call, though, so it’s unclear if they were helping on this lockdown album, or if that work was actually for Editors after all.
The secret lockdown album seems to either be a solo project for Tom, or, perhaps more likely, a new collaboration project á la Smith & Burrows. We still have a lot of questions about this, but hopefully we’ll know more soon. With any luck, this new album will be released before the year is over.
Last Saturday, in an interview with Independent.ie, the article mentioned “a new electronica project [Tom] says he can’t talk about just yet.” However, in interviews this week, Tom evidently revealed more. On Tuesday, in speaking with Norman Fleischer at NBHAP, Tom talked about staying creative during the pandemic:
Yeah, it’s okay. I mean, right now with home schooling and a hard lockdown it’s tough but apart from that it’s been quite a fertile time. I’ve written new Editors songs but with the current circumstances working on them as a group will be quite difficult compared to how we usually do things. I also recorded a lockdown album with a couple of people. Well, it’s doesn’t sound like a lockdown album but it was recorded in that time. That’s kind of a secret and I can’t tell more about it for now. But yeah it’s been creative times.
Yesterday, in an RTL.de interview with Von Mirjam Wilhelm, Tom revealed some of what he’s been working on recently. Among his list of items, he stated, “I’ve been doing a lockdown record with some friends, but that’s still secret.”
We just hope this lockdown album won’t remain a secret for too much longer!
Tom’s Album with Luca D’Alberto
In October 2018, Tom revealed he was working the Italian composer Luca D’Alberto. In an Italian language interview with Supereva, Tom stated:
Three weeks ago I was in Rome to work with an Italian artist called Luca D’Alberto, who composes contemporary classical music and has just released his second album which is called Exile; you should listen to him.
I advise you to start from Exile, I find it a masterpiece. Luca lives in Rome and I spent a week with him writing songs. Right now, I don’t know what we’re going to do with these pieces, but it’s been really inspiring. So to conclude yes, it may be that in the near future you will hear about our first collaboration with an Italian artist.
Two and a half years later, and we’re happy to learn that this project is still in the works. In the RTL.de interview with Von Mirjam Wilhelm yesterday, Tom confirmed: “I’ve been doing some further work on the record I’m making with Luca D’Alberto.”
Still no clue as to when we’ll get it, but we’re excited to hear this collaboration!
Editors’ Seventh Album
Most of us who follow Tom Smith know him through Editors, first and foremost. It’s been three years since they released their last studio album, Violence. In 2019, fans got the special album The Blanck Mass Sessions and the band’s first greatest hits compilation, Black Gold: Best Of Editors. It included three new songs: “Frankenstein,” “Black Gold,” and “Upside Down.” We’ve gotten nothing new since then, though last spring Editors did digitally release all four volumes of You Are Fading, the rarities compilations first included in their 2011 Unedited box set.
For a band that normally has only two or so years between albums, it’s already been a while, companion albums and compilations notwithstanding. In late 2019 and early 2020, Editors affirmed that they would start their seventh record soon, anticipating it to be “sparse and moody.” Though they haven’t been recorded just yet, Tom has written plenty of Editors songs!
In his interview with Norman Fleischer at NBHAP on Tuesday, Tom revealed:
Right now with home schooling and a hard lockdown it’s tough but apart from that it’s been quite a fertile time. I’ve written new Editors songs but with the current circumstances working on them as a group will be quite difficult compared to how we usually do things.
He mentioned the new Editors compositions again yesterday in his interview with John Earls at The Vinyl Whistle:
I’ve a pile of songs ready for the Editors boys to work on. Editors can’t really work remotely, we need to be in the room together to make our songs work. The Best Of album we had out recently felt like the end of Chapter Two for the band, and we can’t wait to start on Chapter Three.
In speaking to Gunter Jakobs at the Dutch publication HBVL, Tom confirmed that Editors don’t currently have a timeline in place to record the new songs:
I’ve already got songs for the next Editors record that we’ll be working on as soon as we able to be in the same room again. Working together from a distance is not possible with the band. It takes a bit more time and effort to get Editors going. We are looking forward to it, but for now we are not making too big of plans. I haven’t even seen, let alone hugged, the other members of the group in almost a year.
It’s encouraging to know that there are plenty of new Editors songs written. However, it may be several months before the five band members can get together to record. At best we could have Editors’ seventh album out in late 2021… but sometime next year sounds much more likely.
Smith & Burrows’ Third Album
Even though Smith & Burrows only just released their new album today, it’s never too soon to think about the next project, am I right? In the previously referenced RTL.de interview with Von Mirjam Wilhelm that he did yesterday, Tom revealed that, in addition to new Editors songs, he’s also written for Smith & Burrows: “There might be a Smith & Burrows song or two.”
In a new Dutch language interview with Bart Wiljaars at De Telegraaf, Tom enthusiastically announced:
Just as we knew ten years ago that this wasn’t a one-off, I can even reveal that work on album number three has already begun. When will it be ready? No idea! But it should be clear: Smith & Burrows has a permanent place in our friendship.
Andy and Tom have joking promised the next album will be out by 2031. An album every decade isn’t very fast, but we’ll take what we can get.
New Music Coming Soon
Tom Smith clearly has plenty of projects in the works, and we can hardly wait to hear them all. The “secret lockdown album” will likely come out first. It will be very interesting to hear how it sounds and who he worked with. His record with Luca D’Alberto may come next, though it’s been in the works for over two years as it is, so we shall see. And Editors fans will likely have to wait until late 2021, if not sometime in 2022, to hear the new songs Tom’s written for the band.
Fortunately, we can enjoy his new album with Andy Burrows now. Only Smith & Burrows Is Good Enough just came out today, and it’s a real treat. It affirms the presence of Smith & Burrows, and fans’ desire for a third album… whenever that may be.
Keep checking back here for all the latest Tom Smith, Editors, and Smith & Burrows music news.
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