Exclusive: Jarvis Cocker returns with new music

Soundtrack for Neil Gaiman’s new Sky Arts drama is Cocker’s first music since Pulp reformed in 2010.

Pulp singer Jarvis Cocker, back with a TV soundtrack
Likely lad Jarvis Cocker has composed his first TV soundtrack, for a forthcoming Sky Arts drama series. Image Picture Tim P Whitby/Getty Images

Jarvis Cocker has written his first major new music since Pulp reformed in 2010.

The singer has composed his first soundtrack, for Sky Arts’ forthcoming drama series Likely Stories.

The four-part series is based on short stories set in London by novelist Neil Gaiman, with a cast including The Game’s Tom Hughes, Johnny Vegas, Kenneth Cranham from Maleficent and Friday Night Dinner’s Paul Ritter.

Cocker hasn’t released a new album since his second solo record Further Complications in 2009, and there are no plans to release the soundtrack of Likely Stories.

Pulp reformed in 2010, but didn’t make any new music before splitting again in 2013. One new single, After You, was released. But that was based on a previously-unused song recorded during the sessions for Pulp’s final album We Love Life in 2001.

Since Pulp played their final performance in 2013 on Jonathan Ross’ ITV chatshow, Cocker has mainly been a DJ on 6 Music with his weekly show Sunday Service.

He wrote the song Worship Me Now for Marc Almond’s album The Dancing Marquis in 2014 and performed Stephen Sondheim’s song I’m Still Here for HBO documentary Follies, but has otherwise been musically silent until Likely Stories’ soundtrack.

Speaking about his drama series, Gaiman said: “Short stories traditionally do not get a lot of love from television. I’m really excited to see what the team are going to do and make with Likely Stories. They’ve given it real thought and it feels like it’s going to be something very, very special.” Gaiman is to make cameos in each of the four episodes.

There is as yet no transmission date for the series.

Likely Stories is directed by Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, who made the acclaimed Nick Cave documentary 20,000 Days On Earth.

Sky Arts also recently commissioned the first new music from The Cocteau Twins singer Elizabeth Fraser for 20 years for their drama series The Nightmare Worlds Of HG Wells.

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Loaded’s deputy editor John Earls has covered entertainment and sport across a range of national newspapers, plus several football and music magazines, since 1990. Follow him on Twitter at @EarlsJohn