‘He crafts songs that sound like minimalist classical composers working on adventurous ballads for R.E.M. This album will either win the Mercury Prize or vanish into cherished cult obscurity. It’s so good it deserves no compromise in between.’
(Alan Morrison on There Are No Maps For This Part Of The City)
I’m a British singer-songwriter whose music has variously found its way to daytime Radio One, a Hollywood movie, festivals, theatre shows and short films, but often just into my cupboard. I used to be in a band called Swimmer One. I was co-creator of an award-winning multi-media project called Whatever Gets You Through The Night, which has existed in various forms since 2012. Between 2010 and 2015 I released three albums as Seafieldroad.
Since 2018 I’ve lived on the Isle of Lewis where I recently released a new album, Tourism, for Wee Studio Records. It’s a collection of songs shaped by life in the Hebrides: songs about crofts and sheep and dark skies and wild weather, about feeling like a tourist in someone else’s culture, about the ‘mainland’ becoming somewhere on the edge of your experience, about my past and my children’s future, and ultimately about whether we are all just tourists on Earth, on a brief visit from somewhere more permanent that we return to afterwards.
Tourism is my second album under my own name but the first ‘new’ one. In 2019 I released After All Of The Days We Will Disappear, a kind of ‘best of’ collection consisting of re-recorded Swimmer One and Seafieldroad tracks, previously abandoned experiments, and one new song. (I set up this website for that project but then kept the name because I liked it).
This website is also home to All of the Days, a semi-regular blog in which I use every song I’ve released as a jumping off point to talk about more interesting things, such as Brian Wilson, Michael Jackson, political protest, national identity, Britpop and racism, dementia, Scottish independence, portrayals of death in children’s films, and gangster movies. When I began writing it in 2018 I thought I didn’t know how to write songs anymore and was trying to figure out why. I’ve mostly been writing it for me but if you like my music then you might find it interesting.
Here are some nice things that people have said about my solo work:
‘A lovely album. A late contender for one of the best of the year.’ Gideon Coe, 6 Music
‘It’s the sort of record that they – the Mark Eitzels and the Paddy McAloons – used to make… an adult pop record with heart and brains.’ The Guardian
‘As irresistible as a warm hearth on a snowy day, these songs do for Scotland’s east coast what the Blue Nile’s did for the city of Glasgow.’ Scotland on Sunday
‘Humane, witty, sumptuous.’ The National
‘The songs glow with a sense of sincere, melancholic wonderment… An album to get lost in.’ The List
‘Strides ahead of the curve.’ The Skinny
‘A heartbreaking and delicate album… a great piece of work.’ Sunday Mail