Posts Tagged ‘Architect’

C Duncan - Monolith Cocktail review

The glorious antithesis of the contemporary hunger for fast culture and fatuous fleeting music consumption, Glasgow’s C Duncan is a throwback in many ways both vocally and musically. A former student of the city’s renowned Royal Conservatoire, the classicist with a penchant for pop has married the choral harmonies of the Baroque and Gaelic with the hazy afterglow of 60s groups such as Harpers Bizarre and The Beach Boys, then added veiled whispers of Talk Talk, The Cocteau Twins and (stay with me on this one) Sting to craft something magical. Impressive not just on record but pulling it off live with his extended trio touring band (seriously, one of the best performances and talents we’ve ever had the pleasure to witness), Duncan’s soothing venerated tones and musicianship are encapsulating.


But rather then use the grand and extended orchestral tools and acoustic spaces of classical music, Duncan methodically and intricately layers his ethereal, and sometimes transcendental, songs in his bedroom studio. Precise, purposeful and planned to the latter, each note, chime, melodic suffused wave and example of interplay is meticulously placed. Architect is then, perhaps one of the most finely crafted albums of late. Yet, most impressive of all is Duncan’s ability to make this precision sound so dreamily and amorphously lush and drifting.’

It’s one thing to have your profile raised by a Mercury Music Prize nomination, it’s another thing entirely to be able to present an album with the subtle complexity of Architect, and the undoubted quality of Chris Duncan’s music will also last longer than any industry accolade. The strength is found in its depth, the layers of vocal harmonies and instrumentation create an entirely unique sound out of recognisable parts, something we can relate to and enjoy like it’s the first time every time.”


Musician born and raised in Glasgow, On his breathtaking debut album Architect, The 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. For over a year the singer-songwriter isolated himself within his bedroom studio as he crafted the album’s 12 songs. Unencumbered by time constraints or the influence of outside producers, Duncan painstakingly layers guitars, synths, handclaps, found objects and vocal lines on top one another. The resulting product is astonishing, not simply because of how disarmingly beautiful it all is, but more that the record is the result of one man’s labor of love, not the work of an entire studio full of musicians. These songs breathe with life. Timeless, genre-defiant, and endlessly inventive, Architect is as accomplished a debut as any.


Garden is the latest dreamy pop sound from Scottish multi-instrumentalist C-Duncan (the C stands for Christopher!). Drenched in 60’s style, with crisp guitars and swirling vocals it is another string to the performer’s already strong bow. After appearing at several major festivals this summer.

Since its release back in May, it has already enjoyed strong coverage across the blogosphere and music magazines as well as enjoying being play listed on BBC 6 music. The ethereal and psychedelic multi-layers of the track were all performed by C-Duncan, a trait that his debut record Architect carries.

Signed to Fat Cat Records, he produced the whole of his album in his home studio – even producing the artwork for the release himself. Having been surrounded by music his entire life (both his parents were classical musicians) he’s used that to create an incredible sounding album that mixes Lo-Fi, charming folk with contemporary dream pop. Architect was released on July 17th and is available for download now.