Glasgow’s prodigious young songwriter C Duncan has been nominated for the 2015 Mercury Prize. 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!”
‘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, and 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 set-up, gradually adding each layer and each instrument one at a time, building-up the breadth of the pieces. Though time-consuming, the process allowed him 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.
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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.
Christopher himself created the cover art for ‘Architect’, a detailed and stylised aerial view of a Glasgow side street. A skilled and accomplished artist, his work has been exhibited at galleries around Scotland.
AUTUMN 2015 – TOUR DATES
Sun 1 Nov University Union, Leeds / with Lucy Rose
Mon 2 Nov 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