Release Date: Nov 6, 2012
Record label: Newsroom Records
Moving epitaph for The Blue Nile’s melancholic grace…Talking to Graeme Thomson in 2006, Paul Buchanan discussed the ordinary miracle of music: “Being able to listen to music and being able to talk to each other through music is like being able to walk on air. It saddens me that music has just turned into a loss-leader in a supermarket. It’s like a miracle that has been turned into a marketing factor.
As far as wee small hours albums go, Paul Buchanan’s Mid Air is instant canon material. The album has a greater air of kitchen table contemplation than pacing, anxiety-wracked insomnia; the 14 songs on this 36 minute album come and go like fluidly passing thoughts. Due to the brevity of the tracks and Mid Air’s overwhelming quiet, it is fair to suspect this album will leave no traces after it ends.
Paul Buchanan’s Mid Air isn’t the mope fest you may brand it upon a quick listen. Sure, it laments the end of relationships and the end of life itself. Yes, it’s delivered predominantly through voice and piano, with the occasional swell of strings or backdrop of horns. But these tracks offer hope in the face of inevitable despair.
Nothing short of a solo masterpiece from The Blue Nile’s frontman. Chris Roberts 2012 The Blue Nile never sold lorry-loads of albums, but for converts to their unique fusion of romantic melancholy and robust hope they remain one of the finest, most quietly righteous bands of all time. The Glasgow trio who floated effacingly onto no scene in particular in the mid-80s have parted, and singer Paul Buchanan, now 56, releases his solo debut.