To play C Duncan’s ‘Alluvium’ is to escape to a world full of resplendent melodies and intricately-wrought electronica, safe from everyday horrors. His yearning vocals float above a glittering landscape of crystalline keyboards and burbling bass, journeying from nigh-on perfect pulsing synthpop (‘I Tried’) to a dreamy hymnal (‘The Wedding Song’). Lead single, ‘Heaven’, is a gossamer-light confection that pulses with romantic joy. Simultaneously, it shimmers, slinks and seduces.
For this, his fourth album, C Duncan retreated back to a home recording studio set-up after the full-on orchestrations of 2019’s ‘Health’. Repeat listens reveal that his location, back by the water in Helensburgh, in his native Scotland, has had a clear influence. The sense of moving on, of ebb and flow, pervades the record, unifying an album of contrasts. It’s everywhere from the whistled hook of ‘Bell Toll’ to the insistent drive of ‘Pretending’. ‘Alluvium’ is ambitious in its scope, but intimate in its execution. Widescreen introspection at its very best.