Elbow couldn't have made their new album without the coronavirus pandemic.

The 'Grounds for Divorce' hitmakers were left feeling “bewildered, nostalgic and far from the people they loved” during lockdown so poured their emotions into ninth record 'Flying Dream 1' and frontman Guy Garvey thinks the "gentle and love-filled" LP would have sounded very different if they'd carried on as normal over the last two years.

He said: "Our songs lend themselves to life drama because they’re written about life drama.

“And the pandemic has included plenty of drama. It’s a gentle and love-filled record. The gentler side of what we do has always been our favourite stuff. This is something that could only happen in these times.

"If we’d been out touring instead of in lockdown at home, I’m sure it would have been an angry, heavy rock record like the one before it.”

The 47-year-old singer spent the period in London with his wife Rachael Stirling and their four-year-old son Jack while bandmates Craig Potter, Mark Potter and Pete Turner were in Manchester and though they were in constant contact, they never explored too deeply how they all felt about the pandemic, but Guy thinks their emotions come through on the album.

He told The Sun newspaper: “It’s the longest we’ve ever been apart. And because we all had different schedules — the lads were home-schooling their kids in Manchester while I was in London with Rachael and Jack — we could never pin down a time when we were all there.

"So we’d communicate by text with the four of us always on the thread, never really going into any individual details.

“The only indication I had of how my best mates were was how the music sounded. When Pete submitted the music for 'Calm And Happy', it sounds how he felt — spooky and worried.”