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Writing Starless

(Love Shadow vs L Fader Remix)

It all began with the track Starless way back when Bobby Henry and I were writing tracks for Karen Matheson's album "Time To Fall". I had written the basic track for the song Starless and I played it to Bobby explaining that the works of Raymond Chandler had influenced the mood of the music; Bobby was interested in the period that Chandler's characters occupied and was happy to pursue this as a starting point for the song.

Bobby had written two or three different sets of lyrics for the song and when I decided to make this record, Starless was the first track that I revisited. The version I chose was incomplete, there was no third verse. After some consideration I decided to finish the lyrics myself, this was an interesting / difficult process as I very rarely write lyrics and I was trying to complete the work in Bobby’s style of writing.

I had already decided that I would be asking a variety of singers to work on the project and although Karen Matheson had already sang the chorus for the track I felt that the song would suit a male vocalist. I thought if I could choose any vocalist who would it be? Of course the ideal singer for Starless would be Paul Buchanan of the Blue Nile, I thought of his records and how his vocal would sit within the context of the recording. It took around three months to get in touch with Paul but when we got together for lunch to discuss the project and Paul had heard the demo of the track he said he was happy to get involved.

The version that Paul heard was a an early demo version with sampled and programmed strings which had a slightly different feel but by the time Paul came out to my home studio I had added a demo of the new strings parts. After the demo was recorded we went in to CAVA Sound Workshops to record the final vocal. Whilst Paul was singing he said, "listening to the track in the headphones was like being in Blade Runner". This was a great compliment as Blade Runner was one of the other big influences on the album both in terms of the films visuals and soundtrack. I love the orchestral texture that Vangelis managed to convey with electronic instruments and the emotional impact the music has.

Paul McGeechan


"I’m faithless and fallen, careless and loving, deeper and dark like your eyes in the rain. Thinking mostly of this anytime story, a sense of departure with out loss or gain.

In a starless sky, one shutdown moon, here in this city we fall in love too soon.

One saving grace, like a faded kiss, like a locked arcade I can't get out of this, just can't get out of this".

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