Noel Gallagher to Ponder Revolution and Reunion on First Album in 5+ Years, ‘Council Skies’

A lot has happened since we last caught up with The Chief, Noel Gallagher of Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, this past Halloween…

The former Oasis lead guitarist and sole songwriter of “Wonderwall”, “Don’t Look Back In Anger”, and many more of Britain’s favorite tunes released “Pretty Boy”, the first sample of a new record. I reviewed it as “dark, mysterious, and the most contemporary work of either Gallagher brother.”

The first of few portraits released to promote “Pretty Boy”. (c) Matt Crockett 2022

We then received a Christmas present from Mr. Gallagher on Christmas Eve in the form of a cell phone video. It reveals a heavenly April 2022 Abbey Road session for a song he refers to as “INGUT”.  On January 6, a similar video was posted, but this time for a track called “DTTW”.

Speculation arose shortly after, with some stating Noel Gallagher and longtime partner, Sara McDonald, were to divorce after 20+ years. It was quickly confirmed by a spokesperson for the couple. We’d like to take this opportunity to wish the family our very best.

That same day, a video shot by Noel’s daughter, Anaïs Gallagher, was released to the singer’s Instagram page. It features in-studio footage of “Pretty Boy”, followed by yet another instrumental section, with the text “17.01.23” appearing at the end…

Gallagher in a promotional image for his 2021 tour. (c) Sharon Latham 2021

Today marks January 17, 2023, and Noel Gallagher appeared on BBC Radio 2’s The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show to officially announce his first album in 5 years, “Council Skies”.


“Thanks for all of the support on “Pretty Boy”. I think everyone agreed that, out of all the singles I’ve had, that was…the most recent. Unfortunately, it’s time for a new one.” – Noel Gallagher for BBC Radio 2

While only appearing via a pre-recorded message, we hear the new single, “Easy Now”, along with the rare Gallagher music video starring House of The Dragon’s Rhaenyra Targaryen, Milly Alcock.

Immediately, the song came across like a warm hug. While it’s nothing new, which is perhaps what I liked so much about “Pretty Boy”, this is Noel Gallagher showing what he’s one of the very best at: tugging heart strings.

The album title, “Council Skies”, comes from author Pete McKee’s book of the same name. In a statement, Noel describes the album as “{…} going back to the beginning. Daydreaming, looking up at the sky and wondering what life could be. That’s as true to me now as it was in the early ’90s.”

(c) Sour Mash Records Ltd.

  1. I’m Not Giving Up Tonight (previously referred to as INGUT)
  2. Pretty Boy
  3. Dead To The World (previously referred to as DTTW)
  4. Open The Door, See What You Find
  5. Trying To Find A World That’s Been And Gone
  6. Easy Now
  7. Council Skies
  8. There She Blows!
  9. Love Is A Rich Man
  10. Think Of A Number
  11. We’re Gonna Get There In The End (Bonus Track)

A deluxe version was also announced, featuring the extended track-list of…

  1. Don’t Stop…
  2. We’re Gonna Get There In The End
  3. Mind Games
  4. Pretty Boy (Instrumental)
  5. Dead To The World (Instrumental)
  6. Council Skies (Instrumental)
  7. Think Of A Number (Instrumental)
  8. I’m Not Giving Up Tonight (David Holmes Remix)
  9. Think Of A Number (Pet Shop Boys Magic Eye 12” Remix)
  10. Pretty Boy (Robert Smith Remix)
  11. Council Skies (The Reflex Revision)
  12. Flying On The Ground (Radio 2 Session, 08.09.21)
  13. You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere (Radio 2 Session, 08.09.21)
  14. Live Forever (Radio 2 Session, 08.09.21)

You might notice a few familiar titles in the bonus tracks, as two (“Live Forever” and “Don’t Stop…”) are songs from Oasis’ back catalog. This is very out of character for Noel, who told the Pub Talk Podcast just three months ago that he “hate(s) going back over things.” Fans began to spectate: is it time? Has Noelly G came back around? Can I dust off my old parka? Are the Gallagher brothers back together?!

The short answer is no. However, while talking to BBC Radio Manchester, the Chief responded to the rumors…

“You should never say never. It would have to be an extraordinary set of circumstances. […] That’s not to say the circumstances would never come about…” – Noel Gallagher for BBC Radio Manchester

Noel Gallagher’s official “Council Skies” photoshoot. (c) Matt Crockett 2023

“Council Skies” is available for pre-order and streaming here with a release date of June 2, 2023.