Like Son, Like Father… or is it the Other Way Round?
This is an unashamed plug for my son Duncan’s latest video, Hypnotise, which is also the title track of an album he is releasing in a few weeks. But before you turn away thinking “Oh God! Not another parent gushing about the achievements of one of their kids”, I can guarantee this is no ordinary album and Hypnotise is no ordinary song. I have at times been as fiercely critical of Duncan’s work as I have been astonished at its quality.
Duncan has his 30th birthday this year and he has been writing songs since he was a young teenager, so actually he has been around the Manchester music scene as a recording artist and performer for much longer than I have. His first live performances were as a heavy metal singer, and that is where a lot of his influences come from. I often find that heavy metal guitarists make excellent acoustic guitarists, and Duncan is certainly a more gifted guitarist than I am. He plays a range of string instruments: bouzouki, acoustic and electric bass, various guitars from a Mongolian 6-string ukulele to his BC Rich Beast; and like me he has started to learn the cello.
But most of all, Duncan’s voice has matured to the point where it is at least as good as the best of independent artists, and his songwriting has moved to a level even beyond that of his first album Until The End – title track here: https://soundcloud.com/duncanreed/until-the-end
With Hypnotise, he started to work with HeyGamal for the first time and that seems to have refreshed his sound. The title track will always be one of my favourite songs, not just of his, but one of my favourite songs full stop. Good music is about moments, memories, and atmospheres, and as I drove back to Manchester from a rehearsal session in Leicester with Matt Steady last year I had it on repeat as I drove in the half light of the evening across Woodhead Pass. There was something about the atmosphere that evening that lent itself to the song, and it was one of those experiences you never forget.
So yes I’m his Dad, but the musician in me knows for sure that Hypnotise should go far as an album because it has a sound that should appeal on both sides of the Atlantic. It mixes moody, sad songs with more lively and politically charged numbers. It mixes a folk sound with rockier influences. It all works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=462vu0dlGrw&t=29s
So keep your eyes and ears open for Hypnotise through all the usual online outlets and wait until you see the cover art that has been designed by his sister Jen, because that’s outstanding too. Meanwhile enjoy the video and share it as often as you like!