Lady Gags : Starles........
Lady Gaga serves up escapist floorfillers, while Starless makes haunting music which gets under the skin, writes Fiona Shepherd.
Love and Money man Paul McGeechan flexes his composer/producer credentials once more in his Starless guise, blending classy composition, exquisitely rendered by the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, with haunting songs which get under the skin.
The latest release from Starless is more This Mortal Coil record than super-group project. I suppose This Mortal Coil was a super-group too, but the output of that collective worked as an exploration of a mood conducted over and over again with a rotating cast of players. This new Starless record, Earthbound, features some great names, and it too maintains a similarly mournful, and thoughtful vibe.
Long Bhriseadh makes for a stunning entrance piece, serving as a prelude of sorts to the musical journey that we’re about to partake on, but Ailein Duinn is where the record truly gets going, and in extravagant style too. The piano/string combo is spotless and further refined by the outstanding production standard, while Karliene serenades us with these dazzling harmonies.
Emma Pollock is an artist I’m quite familiar with, and she gives Paper her usual magic touch, which also makes use of mechanical-based sounds that add a dose of character. Breakdown has a noticeably firmer sense of weight to it, with verses that lightly build and develop, in time venting into a sensational chorus helmed by Steven Lindsay’s memorable turn.
Unfettered Charm & Beauty
Starless are releasing their second album, Earthbound, following on from the unfettered charm and beauty of their debut a couple of years ago.
The roll call? Where do I start? Former Friends Again and Bathers frontman Chris Thomson provides his distinguished vocal talent on Spellbound, which lives up to its name in the effect it has on the listener. And also on the emotive slow burn of Calvary towards the end of the record. Also returning from the first Starless album is Marie Claire White (providing Chase the Devil) fresh from releasing her debut SEIL LIEN album. The silky vocals of The Big Dish frontman and composer, Steven Lindsay makes an appearance. And on Sea Shanty No.2, another unforgettable voice originating from another classic 80s band, Hipsway, in Graeme Skinner. That is just scratching the surface