“Hauntingly pretty, intricately arranged…Will blow you away with its awed atmosphere and reverential sense of rapture…Exquisite and unearthly…Wistful, celestial genius.” The Guardian (band of the week)
“[An] astonishing debut… songs elevated to brilliance by multi-layered harmonies.” The Sunday Times
“C Duncan takes the heartstring-tugging abilities of his label mates and wields them in harmony-laden, acoustic fashion” NME
We are thrilled to announce that Glasgow’s prodigious young songwriter C Duncan has been formally nominated for the 2015 Mercury Prize Albums of the Year Shortlist.
The nomination for Architect – C Duncan’s debut album – was announced live by Lauren Laverne on her BBC 6Music show on October 16th, alongside a brief telephone interview with Christopher.
“I couldn’t be happier!” Christopher says. “It has been a really fantastic year!”
C Duncan’s singles (all present on Architect) have enjoyed high praise across press and radio. BBC Radio 2’s Jo Whiley, BBC 6Music’s Chris Hawkins, Huey Morgan, Mary Anne Hobbs, Don Letts, Gideon Coe, Tom Ravenscroft, Nemone, Radcliffe and Maconie, Guy Garvey, Tom Robinson, Steve Lamacq, Jim Gellatly (XFM), Dave Rowntree (Radio X) are all firm supporters. The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Line of Best Fit, The Quietus, NME, Stereogum, Les Inrockuptibles (among plenty of others) have all featured Christopher’s music. The singles were playlisted on BBC 6Music(including an A-list for ‘Garden’), Amazing Radio and European radio networks.
Architect showcases a huge breadth in songwriting abilities. Lead singles ‘Say’ and ‘For’ are characterised by their gentleness and warmth, while ‘Garden’ is bright, sunny, irrepressible. On the other side, ‘By’ and ‘Novices’ draw more overtly from Christopher’s interest in electronic music and modern composition. He references The Knife and Arvo Pärt 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 Fauré, 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 astonishingly intricate and subtle collection of music. As a composer, he is classically trained, graduating from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland – another influence clearly visible in his songwriting, in its fully-formed textures and meticulously crafted arrangements.
The son of two classical musicians, Christopher 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.
The cover art for Architect, a detailed and stylised aerial view of a Glasgow side street, was created by Christopher himself. A skilled and accomplished artist, his work has been exhibited at galleries around Scotland.
AUTUMN TOUR DATES
Sun 1 Nov Leeds University Union, Leeds / with Lucy Rose
Mon 2 Nov Exeter Phoenix, Exeter / with Lucy Rose
Tue 3 Nov Chinnerys, Southend / with Lucy Rose
Wed 4 Nov Otherplace, The Basement, Brighton / HEADLINE SHOW
Thu 5 Nov Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham / with Lucy Rose
Sat 7 Nov O2 Academy2 Liverpool, Liverpool / with Lucy Rose
Sun 8 Nov O2 Academy Oxford, Oxford / with Lucy Rose
Mon 9 Nov O2 Academy2 Leicester , Leicester / with Lucy Rose
Tue 10 Nov Roadmender, Northampton / with Lucy Rose
Thu 12 Nov The Riverside, Newcastle Upon-Tyne / with Lucy Rose
Fri 13 Nov Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry / with Lucy Rose
Sat 14 Nov The Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth / with Lucy Rose
Sun 15 Nov La Cigale, Les Inrockuptibles Festival, Paris / with John Grant
Tue 17 Nov Sugarmill, Stoke-on-Trent / with Lucy Rose
Wed 18 Nov The Forum, London, London / with Lucy Rose
Tue 01 Dec The Courtyard Theatre, London / HEADLINE SHOW
Thu 03 Dec The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen / HEADLINE SHOW
Fri 04 Dec Pleasance Theatre, Edinburgh / HEADLINE SHOW
Sat 05 Dec Art School, Glasgow / HEADLINE SHOW
C Duncan online