On record, C Duncan is a one-man angelic army, layering up his home recordings to create a blissful chamber pop swoon which he recreates live with a four-piece band well schooled in multi-part harmony.
C Duncan ****
Oran Mor, Glasgow
He opened this hometown launch of his exquisite second album The Midnight Sun with a sample of dialogue from The Twilight Zone episode of the same name, yet Duncan’s sound is far from eerie and unsettling, and much more likely to catch the listener in some rapturous reverie.
Then, in the sated silence following his opening salvo of stately beauty, a phone rang. What clown would interrupt such a spellbinding moment? But it was only Duncan’s mischievous idea of stagecraft. Lifting the big, old-fashioned receiver, he formally thanked the audience for their attendance.
The pleasure, truly, was all ours as Duncan debuted a beautiful batch of new songs, enveloping us in a comfort blanket of soothing, undulating electronica, gentle skittering drums and heavenly harmonies with Duncan’s immaculate falsetto soaring over the top. Do I Hear? was especially celestial, followed by a hit of early 80s-influenced dreamy synth pop in the form of Say.
If that sounds too cosy, there was the meatier synth shudder of recent single Wanted To Want It Too in glorious combination with the choral voices, and early single Garden souped up with swirling organ and acid guitar. But these were still subtle flourishes, cameo features in Duncan’s richly realised and already instantly recognisable soundworld.