C Duncan Architect on LP
The son of two classical musicians, Christopher Duncan was drawn so persuasively to indie and alternative music and playing in school bands 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. Architect, his debut LP for FatCat is full of achingly personal songcraft that's been recognized by NME, BBC Music, The Guardian, Stereogum and most recently nominated for the UK's Mercury Prize.
Architect showcases a huge breadth in Duncan's songwriting abilities. Lead singles "Say" and "For" are characterized by their gentleness and warmth, while "Garden" is bright, sunny and irrepressible, while "By" and "Novices" draw more overtly from Christopher's interest in electronic music and modern composition. He references The Knife and Arvo Part as willingly as Burt Bacharach and The Carpenters. Add to that shades of Talk Talk, Fleet Foxes, Grizzly Bear, The Ink Spots and the classical and choral compositions of Maurice Ravel and Gabriel Faure, and a picture of the record collection that informs Christopher's music starts to become clear.
Christopher wrote and recorded his album alone in his Glasgow flat on a bedroom studio-setup, gradually adding each layer and each instrument one at a time, building up the breadth of the pieces. Though time-consuming, the process allowed for Christopher to lovingly assemble the intricacies and subtleties for this astonishing intimate collection of music. As a composer, he is classically trained, graduating from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland - another influence clearly visible in his songwriting's fully-formed textures and meticulously crafted arrangements.