While some people imploded in the lockdowns and isolation of the epidemic, others were thriving. “I felt like I’d been in training for this my whole life” said J Spaceman in a text conversation last June or so.
He was referring to his fondness of isolation and when you reframe loneliness as “beautiful solitude” then it isn’t so bad. “There was so much information on it that the slightest move would unbalance it, but going around in circles is important to me. Not like you’re spiraling out of control but you’re going around and around, and on each revolution, you hold onto the good each time. Sure, you get mistakes as well, but you hold on to some of those too and that’s how you kind of… achieve. Well, you get there.”
Eventually the mixes got there, and Everything Was Beautiful was achieved.
The result is some of the most “live” sounding recordings that Spiritualized have released since the Live At The Albert Hall record of 1998, around the time of Ladies & Gentlemen, We Are Floating In Space.
Spaceman plays 16 different instruments on Everything Was Beautiful which was put down at 11 different studios, as well as at his home. Also he employed, more than 30 musicians and singers including his daughter Poppy, long-time collaborator and friend John Coxon, string and brass sections, choirs and finger bells and chimes from the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. So, there’s a lot going on.