C Duncan snook up on me in 2015 with an amazing album that landed firmly in my top albums of 2015 list at number 3. To round off Architect’s run a four track EP continues the dreamlike rock that the Scotsman provides.
The extremely fast and furious “A Year Or So” has a rattling of wooden sticks and plenty of soapbox “Do wops” as backing vocals. The beauty of C Duncan’s work is that is is retro cool in its sound to sound like a 60’s band but then filtered into a smooth musical caress. Nothing ever sounds harsh. Everything is soft and fluffy – the audio equivalent the Reyes Instagram filter! Followed up is a live version of “Garden” where the production is less apparent as it’s live instrumentation. It has more of an organ carnival vibe to it and is a nice rendition. “The Age of Love (Is the Wrong Age for Me)” is a classic British track. Reminding me of the seaside, ice cream, windy days and black and white films – the track is a happy shuffle. The whistles, wet shakers and spacious chorale backing vocals paint a quaint image even if the lyrics are less happy. C Duncan’s bass in his voice is completely removed to keep everything upbeat and airy. It’s the kind of thing you’d put on to The Two Ronnies. Closing the EP is a Cocteau Twins cover – “Pearly Dew Drops”. The choice is utterly inspired because he embodies that airy, otherworldly atmosphere in his own way and it’s like four minutes of audio pillows massaging your ears to sleep. Beautiful and sumptuous.
“EP” is a lovely addition to the album, which has a darker tone and these tracks feel like the lighter, happier end of the same song collection. The most calming way to foot tap the evening away.
Recommended track: A Year Or So