C Duncan – Architect

A beautifully constructed debut...

The build-up to the release of 'Architect', the stunning debut album from Glasgow's C Duncan, seems to have been going on for quite some time.

By now, you'll probably be familiar with the juxtaposition of folk and electronica (folktronica, if we're lazily tossing around genre names), which is at the heart of glorious summer anthem 'Here To There'.

As Clash listens to it, on a seasonably grey July day, it seems somewhat incongruous – this is a track that, given bright sunshine and a glass of wine, would be a number one single in anyone's book.

When we went along to witness C Duncan live, on a different yet equally seasonably wet summer's day (there's a theme developing here…) in a marquee at Oxford's Irregular Folk, the trio made a beautiful, folk-infused but wholly electronic-leaning sound.

These are energetic, soulful, fantastically-written songs. 'Say' lopes along on a gentle groove of processed drums and synths, as cherubic vocal harmonies float in and out. The title track, meanwhile, has a dubby bass groove at its centre but is carried along by keyboards and a saccharine sweet chorus melody. 'Garden' is more urgent. The driving acoustic is augmented by otherworldly synths and more skewed Hammond organ, atop which those beautiful vocal harmonies slink and slide around wonderfully.

At times, this is redolent of the more focused elements of School Of Seven Bells' canon. At others, Parliament Of Owls come to mind, but really C Duncan has created an electronic folk niche all of his own.

These are songs for songwriters, beautifully constructed and realised – after a full rotation, it'd be difficult not to fall in love with this album.


Words: Haydon Spenceley

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