The Zutons have announced details of their first album together for 16 years.
The Big Decider will be released on 26 April 2024 and was recorded at Abbey Road Studios with legendary songwriter and producer Nile Rodgers, alongside the band’s original producer Ian Broudie.
The multi-platinum selling band released three studio albums between 2004 and 2008, scoring 9 UK Top 40 singles including two Top 10s with ‘Why Won’t You Give Me Your Love?’ and the all-conquering ‘Valerie’, the latter a triple-platinum hit for Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse.
The Big Decider comes into view as an album of stark significance to the band, completed by Dave McCabe (guitar, lead vocals), Abi Harding (saxophone, vocals) and Sean Payne (drums, vocals).
Written against the backdrop of a decade and a half’s worth of lived experience, it is born under the weight of family tragedies, lives lost and created, reality checks, and home truths faced up to and stared down.
Wrestled into shape under the kind of steam that only decades-long friendships – with all their messy fall-outs, make-ups, breakdowns and ultimately love – can muster, The Big Decider became the sound of water passing under the bridge, and love for music, love for each other, and love for creating together becoming the most important thing of all.
Talking about the new album, lead singer and guitarist Dave McCabe said, “Working with Nile was just an amazing experience, he gave me a confidence that I’ve never felt before making a record. He’s very laid-back as a person and a good listener.
“On the song ‘Disappear’, I wrote a spoken word piece about The Zutons travelling the stars and galaxies asking the most powerful question in the universe, ‘Why?’
“I asked Nile if he’d read it out over the top of the end section of the song, thinking he’d just say no. But he jumped in the vocal booth with his chain around his neck and his sunglasses on and did about 20 different takes, all in different styles of himself. It was mind-blowing! It was as though he really does travel around the universe in some spaceship and just makes music in his spare time. He’s just one of the coolest people I’ve ever met.
“It was great to reconnect with Ian Broudie on this record as well. He told me the demo of Big Decider brought a tear to his eye and that’s why he said yes to working with us again. It was one of the first songs we wrote for the album so getting that reaction from Ian made me feel like we were doing something right. The song spoke for itself.”
Long-anticipated, authentically hard-won, scorchingly self-aware and truly worth the wait, The Big Decider is the sound of a band channelling what Abi Harding describes as a lifetime of “great chemistry and great connection”.
Or, as Sean Payne puts it, “We had a genuine feeling of a shared vision. In the past we haven’t really said how we feel, or we’ve taken each other the wrong way. But this album was different. We really didn’t feel good until it was just how we wanted it.”
Pre-order the new album The Big Decider here
The Zutons play Future Yard, Birkenhead, on Saturday 3 February 2024
Image: The Zutons Credit: Jonathan Turton