C Duncan: Health
C Duncan's highly anticipated third album, following his Mercury Prize nominated debut and the critically acclaimed The Midnight Sun sees the Scottish multi-instrumentalist ditch his bedroom studio and work with other producers, engineers and musicians for the first time. Navigating themes of love, anxiety and sexuality, Health is a deeply personal record that delves into a world Duncan had previously felt uneasy exploring. Warm and harmonically rich, Duncan delightfully juxtaposes the vibrant and wholesome aesthetic of the album with an often darker lyrical undertone, pushing himself to refine and explore new ways of writing. As the sole protagonist of his self-carved niche, Health sees Duncan evolve and expand its parameters in mesmerizing fashion. Chiming with rippling enchantment, Duncan's vocal harmonies are executed with acute precision. Health has added even more layers while remaining thematically and lyrically laid very bare. Written around the time of the anti-gay purges in Chechnya, 'He Came From The Sun' sees Duncan slow things down and contemplate his own life and experience of coming out. Stuck Here With You' keeps the pace going before 'Care' wraps things up, the undulating heartbreak ballad a gentle and sombre end to an album packed with fresh ideas and buzzing with invention.