The debut album from Glasgow’s C Duncan is the result of a meticulous bedroom recording project. Architect includes instrumental layers and choral harmonies seemingly informed as much by the Beach Boys and vintage Scottish pop as by his classical music studies at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. The breezy and harmonious sound has led to him supporting Belle & Sebastian at Somerset House this month, and seems to be taking him to new places all the time.
Architect showcases a huge breadth in Christopher’s song writing abilities, which is something fresh to the audiences. This can be mainly seen in the second single and the opening of the album, ‘Say’. The atmospheric, carefree and brisk track transports you to your happy place and is beautiful to say the least. The album begins to show that C Duncan is someone who truly cares about music, and is ecstatic about all the differences that can be created through an abundance of instruments.
Debut single ‘For’ is characterised by the gentleness and warmth; it is a textured song with many layers which add to its authenticity. The brutality of layered vocal lines sometimes takes away from the percussion which is pushed onto the track, however this could have come out of a Tim Burton film, and has something slightly eerier when the whistling begins.
On the other hand, ‘Garden’ is bright, sunny, irrepressible – it is almost stress-inducing which the amount of layers and excessive instruments being involved, it can be seen as going far as it is almost the perfect crowd inducing track and the distant off-rhythm clapping can almost be heard in the distance. However there is an angelic white wash over the track in which the glorious C Duncan twinkles on a piano which adds to the crescendo towards the end of the track.
As the son of two classical musicians, Christopher was drawn so persuasively to indie and alternative music as a teen that he added guitar, bass guitar and drums to his existing repertoire of viola and piano, studying all five instruments at the same time. ‘By’ and ‘Novices’ draw more overtly from Christopher’s interest in electronic music and modern composition. The Knife and Arvo Pärt are synched in as willingly as Burt Bacharach and The Carpenters – however, add in the folk tinges of Fleet Foxes and Grizzly Bear and it begins to show the main interests and landscape of the album.
‘Architect’ is released on 17th July via FatCat Records.