I’ve been listening to this record for a while now, after having a staggered release in different territories, Duncan Maitland’s solo debut album is out and it’s a great listen.
‘Lullabies for the 21st Century’ is an album of fine songwriting with lush harmonies and memorable hooks. Listening to this record I see the vibe in the late 60’s / early 70’s, lush like ELO but without being over the top. The former Picturehouse man has created something timeless here, it nods at the past but is has many contemporary traits.
‘Your Century’ starts the album, a simple guitar and harmonies before raising the soundscape with simple but perfectly balanced harmony layers. Current single ‘Terry The Toad’ has a memorable chorus and urges you to hum along to ‘everybody’s playing it cool’. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is, but something here reminds me of the McCartney side of The Beatles.
There’s more to Maitland though, than just a retro vibe. Throughout the album, the production is fanastic, ranging from indie, jazzy to decent pop music. ‘Horror Stories’ seems like a track that Robbie Williams would record, such is the variation on this. Little things, like fret noise left in, hearing the artist take a breath make this album real. This is more than just a polished pop record.
Everytime I listen there’s more to Maitland’s storytelling than there was first time round. Everytime I listen, I have a different favourite song. This time, it’s the uptempo ‘Up To You’. Really like this album, all I need now are some long hot Summer days and some long grass. Bliss.