Release Date: Jul 17, 2015
Record label: FatCat Records
On his breathtaking debut album Architect, 26-year-old Glaswegian composer Christopher Duncan sings, “I’ll take you everywhere I go… I’ll take you everywhere I know. It’s all so wonderful.” That’s exactly what the Mercury Prize-nominated multi-instrumentalist does over the course of 49 minutes, and it’s anything but hyperbole to declare that “wonderful” is quite the understatement. From delicate, pastoral dream pop to intimate, electronic-tinged folk, Duncan’s luxuriant vocal harmonies and intricate compositions dazzle with ingenuity.
If pop music is all about timing, then Christopher Duncan appears, at least at first, to be in trouble. A July heatwave seems a spectacularly ill-suited release date for songs such as Say or Silence and Air, which boast choral passages so wintery you can practically hear Britain’s transport infrastructure collapsing. Then again, Duncan doesn’t appear to be interested in typical working methods.
?The music a person is brought up with can often define a lot of their tastes. The son of classical musicians, raised on piano and viola before guitar, bass, and drums, Christopher Duncan’s musical upbringing was as rich as they come. Combining a fascination of the classical with a characteristically modern approach, C Duncan has crafted a debut release that’s entirely enchanting.
Chris Duncan is a Scottish composer with an apparent ability to pick up any instrument he chooses. However, rather than using his composing skills to construct Craig Armstrong rip-off soundtracks for sub-par ITV dramas (he got that stage of his career out of the way early on) and fulfil the dream most of his classmates held, C Duncan has taken his considerable talents into the weird and wonderful world of pastoral indie. This is a unique land of whimsy, where the Grizzly Bears, Fleet Foxes and other Wild Beasts of this world roam free from urban constraints, just looking to find that perfect harmony to match the loose leaf Assam waiting back in their respective log cabins.