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NEW TITLE: When Quiet Was the New Loud: Celebrating the Acoustic Airwaves 1998-2003 by Tom Clayton. Advance copies are shipping now. The book goes on general release on 7th June 2021.

Post-Britpop. Pre-New Rock. The New Acoustic Movement.

The quiet music of 1998-2003 bridged the gap between two cultures, two generations and two centuries. As the nineties wound down and a new millennium approached, the UK began to look nostalgically to the past – and hesitantly to the future. The giants of Britpop had imploded, rave culture had started to chill out and a new wave of unassuming musicians suddenly found themselves in the spotlight. While Travis, Dido, Coldplay and David Gray may have shone the brightest, the likes of Kings of Convenience, Badly Drawn Boy and Turin Brakes also produced classic albums and won legions of fans.

Even though the New Acoustic Movement created some of the biggest hits of the century – earworms that still fill the airwaves today – it has been unfairly overlooked, too often dismissed as uncool or worse. Two decades on, When Quiet Was the New Loud finally puts the record straight and gives the acoustic era the recognition it deserves.

Tom Clayton’s affectionate look at the key records from the period – bestsellers and hidden gems alike – rediscovers the songs, personalities and stories of the time and reveals a moment when, albeit briefly, the meek really did inherit the earth.

‘An insightful, passionate and thoughtful telling of one music fan’s journey in sound that transcends volume.’ Colin MacIntyre, Mull Historical Society

‘A charming and important reveal on the acoustic outsiders of the early noughties and beyond.’ Olly Knights, Turin Brakes

‘An insight into the outer circles of British music which still resonate powerfully today.’ Kathryn Williams

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Tom Clayton’s non-fiction has appeared in The Sunday Times, Drowned in Sound, Louder Than War and The 405, His fiction has appeared in The Santa Fe Literary Review. He was the lead researcher and writer for Messing Up the Paintwork: The Wit and Wisdom of Mark E. Smith (Ebury, 2018); When Quiet Was the New Loud is his first original book. He lives and works in east London.

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