Review: Elvis Costello – ‘We Are All Cowards Now’

Beautifully Bleak

'We Are All Cowards Now' is as stunning as it is heartbreakingly raw

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Elvis Costello has been making tunes for decades now, yet they still never falter. His upcoming album Hey Clockface is due for release on October 30th and has three newly released singles to date, including the most recent, ‘We Are All Cowards Now’.

What stands out immediately in ‘We Are All Cowards Now’ is Costello’s distinctive, gravelly and wobbly vocals coupled with some funky drum rhythms. It’s not an Elvis Costello song unless you can move to it.

‘We Are All Cowards Now’, despite exhibiting familiar traits within Costello’s vocals, is significantly slower than some of his most popular tracks. Where older songs like ‘Pump It Up’ and ‘(I Don’t Want To) Go To Chelsea’ taken from This Year’s Model (1978) demonstrate Costello’s ability to energise listeners, ‘We Are All Cowards Now’ highlights his moodier side.

With a pessimistic tone, Costello uses this single to sing of world crises. “Rivers rising / Darkness fell upon / People blotting out the sun / We are all cowards now” signifies a potential world ending, which continues throughout and finalises with the closing lines “For tomorrow’s parades / We are all cowards n0w”.

Costello’s new single outlines his ability to create thought-provoking tracks. Not only is it groovy, it’s also incredibly memorable. This is an excellent sign for what Hey Clockface will deliver in October.

‘We Are All Cowards Now’ is available to listen to now via Concord Records.


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Live Editor 2019/20 & third year English student. Probably watching Gilmore Girls

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