Paul Buchanan / Karen Matheson / Marie Claire Lee /
Kaela Rowan / Kris Drever / Julie Fowlis / Kathleen MacInnes /
Andre White / Chris Thomson / The Prague Philharmonic Orchestra/
”I love it. Listening to Starless is like ‘sitting on a cliff, feet dangling over, shivering from the wind chill with the sea beneath you’. I feel the authentic Scottish musical sensibilities and charm that goes with it. Hearing the beautifully sung, arranged and played songs, makes me feel... great.“
Gary Katz (Steely Dan producer)
STARLESS: CELTIC CONNECTIONS REVIEW by Neil McFadyen 7 February, 2017
Featuring Karen Matheson, Julie Fowlis, Kaela Rowan and more, Paul McGeechan presented Celtic Connections with a unique and captivating performance, successfully bringing the splendour of Starless to a live, and thoroughly appreciative, audience. Read more
Gideon Coe, BBC 6 Music
"An ambitious project, beautifully realised"
Graeme Thomson, The Herald
"Evoking emotive oceanic imagery, beauteous moments abound"
Colin Irwin, MOJO
"A wonderfully evocative album, fascinating and beguiling" Mark Radcliffe, BBC Radio 2
"It’s a remarkable album that provides instant appeal then reveals hidden, captivating detail"
"The whole album is like a deliciously, mature Highland malt whisky:lush, sensuous, and intoxi-cating"
Paul Matheson, fRoots
Welcome to the debut album of Starless - the lushly orchestrated brainchild of Paul McGeechan, keyboard player of Love & Money. It’s an epic and unique album - widescreen in scope and ambition featuring such illustrious collaborators as Paul Buchanan (The Blue Nile), Karen Matheson (Capercaillie), Julie Fowlis and Chris Thomson (The Bathers). McGeechan - who wrote, arranged and masterminded the project - recorded the album with the stunning Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. The result is a an emotional soundscape with references ranging from Ennio Morricone to The Cocteau Twins and David Sylvian.
Fuadach provides the opening titles to this very special cinematic musical journey. It is followed by the late-night beauty of title track Starless - sung by Paul Buchanan of The Blue Nile (Buchanan’s first vocal for quite some time). ”In a starless sky, one shutdown moon, here in this city, we fall in love too soon“.
Whispered Reason No. 2 and Solitude - both sung by Marie Claire Lee - recall the other-worldly beauty of Liz Fraser of The Cocteau Twins. Another great collaborator on Starless is Karen Matheson from Capercaillie. Her beautiful voice is featured on the celestial The Surge Of The Sea - sung in Gaelic. Scottish folk singer Julie Fowlis provides vocals on the second Gaelic language song on the album - the ethereal Duthaich Mhicaoidh.
Chris Thomson from The Bathers (who released three albums on Marina) sings the gorgeous Misty Nights. ”Sure as East meets West, she’s in her summer dress, young musicians on their knees“. McGeechan and Thomson were both members of legendary post-Postcard band Friends Again in the early 80s.
Within These Walls - sung by Andrew White - recalls the melancholy art-pop of early 80s Peter Gabriel. The atmospheric Yellow Midnight is sung by Gwen Stewart who recorded two albums with Sugartown on Marina.
Turn the lights down low - turn up the volume - and get on a trip with this very special and,
yes, quite spectacular album. It’s a beauty.
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