Following six studio album, in October 2019, Editors released their first greatest hits compilation, Black Gold: Best Of Editors. Featuring a mix of songs from their entire back catalogue, plus three new songs, it was a testament to all the band has accomplished in the past two decades. But fans never stop eagerly awaiting future music, and naturally, Editors fielded several questions about their seventh album.
In a Dutch interview in October 2019, Tom talked about how Black Gold marks the end of chapter two for the band. Chapter one, which included their first three albums, all with their original guitarist Chris Urbanowicz, and chapter two, which featured their three 2010s albums, recorded with Justin Lockey and Elliott Williams. Looking to the future and chapter three, Tom said:
What the third one will be? I don’t know. I’m not ruling out we’ll sound more minimalist or maybe even like The Blue Nile or R.E.M. on Out Of Time and Automatic For The People.
That same month, Tom Smith reiterated that he anticipated the next Editors album to be “sparse and moody.”
In a February 2020 interview that was done in German, Russell Leetch and Ed Lay mentioned that Editors plan to collaborate with unspecified other musicians:
For the next album, which they’re already thinking about, Editors are apparently planning to work with guest musicians. With whom, they have not revealed yet.
Also in February, Tom and Elliott spoke to Dom Gourlay at Under the Radar. The interview ended with what Editors’ future holds in terms of new music. They shared a bit more this time:
Moving onto the future, will there be a seventh Editors album?
Tom: Yes, of course. I think this marks the end of a chapter so I’m just buzzing about what we do next. Next year we’ll throw ourselves into making record number seven.
Elliott: We’re all quite enjoying not having a clue what we’re doing so we haven’t started planning for the next record yet. Because we’ve always looked ahead to the next record this is new territory for us, which is what makes it even more exciting. You can have a tendency to over think things sometimes, which we try hard not to do as a band. We’d rather go on our gut instincts then ride with it. If we’d have thought about every move we ever made I don’t think we’d still be here. We’d be driving ourselves insane. So after we’ve finished touring we’ll probably work out what’s going to happen next but until that time, who knows?
That was just weeks before lockdown. Whatever plans Editors had, we suspect the pandemic and lockdown may have impacted them. Although they’d indicated they weren’t making another album until 2021, how much will the ongoing pandemic delay them? We don’t know too much about that just yet, but we do know the guys have kept busy in the past year.
In March 2020 and again in December 2020, Tom teased that he was “scheming” about something with Blanck Mass — the same man who played a big part in developing Violence; indeed, we got to hear those earlier versions in The Blanck Mass Sessions, the special album released in May 2019.
During a January 2021 interview that Smith & Burrows did with Jo Whiley, Tom said that he’s been very productive throughout the pandemic. He said he’s written a lot of songs: “If I get a spare five minutes, I’ll try to write a song that’ll get heard in about 12 years’ time.”
Throughout interviews in January and February, Tom continued to mention his “fertile” creative period during the past year. Indeed, it sounds like he has many songs ready for Editors. Now the issue is when the band will be able to record them. As he’s stated recently, they’d prefer to be able to get into a room together to work the songs out. With any luck, that’ll be able to happen sooner than later.
In addition to Editors, Tom has, of course, been busy with the long-awaited second Smith & Burrows album. Tom and Andy’s new record, Only Smith & Burrows Is Good Enough, just came out on February 19, 2021. Tom has also sneakily mentioned a “secret lockdown” album he recorded with a couple of unspecified people. We imagine we’ll hear more about that in the coming months. And Tom is making an album with the Italian composer Luca D’Alberto. There may be a lot of music coming our way in the next year or two!
Keep checking back here for more news about Editors’ upcoming seventh studio album.