Sunday 24 September 2017

Sublime collection for the wee small hours

John Meagher

John Meagher

Paul Buchanan

Mid Air

(Newsroom Records)

HHHHI

Emerging from the fertile Glasgow music scene of the early 80s, The Blue Nile were adored by the critics and ignored by the general public.

A shame because A Walk Across the Rooftops remains one of the great British debut albums of that decade.

Little has been heard of the far-from-prolific band since their last album, 2004's High, but frontman Paul Buchanan has finally come out of the shadows with a typically slow-burning collection of songs for the wee small hours.

Mid Air is a delicate album with a spartan sonic backdrop centred around the piano.

Yet, close attention reveals a complexity of subtle electronic instrumentation underneath that's at the service of Buchanan's hushed vocals and his gorgeously observed words.

The gorgeous Two Children reveals a poet's eye for detail while Fin de Siècle throws in some of the cinematic flourishes of old.

Sublime stuff and an album best heard through headphones.

Key tracks Two Children; Fin de Siècle

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