SATURDAY’S SCOTTISH SONG : #323: STARLESS

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Today’s words are lifted from a bio offered up a couple of years back by a PR agency:-

“Paul McGeechan has been a prominent figure in the music industries since the early 1980s when he first formed Friends Again with his childhood friend and singer, Chris Thompson. Following in the footsteps of bands such as Aztec Camera, Friends Again grew a large following, particularly in Scotland, and released their album Trapped and Unwrapped in 1984.

After Friends Again disbanded, Paul and James Grant formed Love and Money. The band signed to Phonogram Records and instantly began to gain critical acclaim and success. They recorded their first album All You Need Is… in London in 1985 with legendary producer Tom Dowd and Andy Taylor of Duran Duran.

The band then moved to America to record their most popular album, Strange Kind of Love, where they worked with the renowned Steely Dan producer Gary Katz. Strange Kind Of Love has become one of the most highly regarded Scottish albums of the 1980s and after recording the band went on many successful concerts with U2, BB King and Simply Red.

Since then, Paul has become one of the most prominent producers / mix engineers in the Scottish music business, with a particularly strong body of work in Celtic and traditional folk music. Many recording artists continually return to Paul to work on their albums. He has mixed and mastered many records for Julie Fowlis, Roddy Hart, Capercaille, James Grant, Justin Currie, Ricky Ross – and the list goes on. Beyond Scotland, Paul has worked with a diverse range of artists such as Beyoncé Knowles, Pavarotti and the French Algerian artist IDIR.

Throughout the years, Paul has collaborated on hundreds of albums; he has always contributed to the songs and musical ideas of the projects he works on. His interest in electronic music and the collection work he has built up over the years has led him to record a new collaborative album under the pseudonym, ‘Starless’. This ambitious project is one which encapsulates his electronic influences and his skills as a composer / producer with each song on the album featuring a singer with whom Paul has developed a musical relationship.

The first album, eponymously titled, ‘Starless’, released in 2016, featured Paul Buchanan (The Blue Nile), Julie Fowlis, Karen Matheson (Capercaillie), BBC Radio 2 Folk Award Winner, Kris Drever, Kathleen MacInness, Chris Thomson (Friends Again), Mary Ann Kennedy, Kaela Rowan, Marie Clare Lee, Gwen Stewart, Ewen Vernal (Deacon Blue) and The Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.

Paul’s second album, Earthbound, released in 2020, features more collaboration from top names in Scottish traditional music, on Scottish independent label, Last Night From Glasgow (LNFG), including recurring featured vocals from Julie Fowlis, Karen Matheson, Chris Thomson and Marie Clare Lee, with new additions, Steven Lindsay (The Big Dish), Grahame Skinner (Hipsway), Emma Pollock (The Delgados) and Jerry Burns.”

I use blue text in postings to highlight the names of singers/bands/artists who get mentioned…..and the amount in the above paragraphs demonstrates just how well-connected Paul McGeechan as well as indicating just how often musicians have been willing to work with him in collaboration.

mp3: Starless – Paper (feat. Emma Pollock)

The extent of these collaborations does mean that his recordings will offer something to suit just about everyone’s tastes, although it would take someone with a ridiculous palate to say they enjoyed absolutely everything released by Starless.  But I reckon many of you might like the above track, whioch can be found on Earthbound.

Paper was also released as a digital single, which came with a number of remixes.

mp3: Starless – Paper (AXOR remix)

Now….I’m making a stab in the dark here, but a previous Starless track from 2016 was given the remix treatment under a heading of “Sam Barker Axor Remix”, and I’m assuming it’s the same partnership.  If so, Sam Barker is a UK-born and Berlin-based musician and DJ, and he’s provided a perfect song for those summer nights, no matter where you are in the world.

JC

2 thoughts on “SATURDAY’S SCOTTISH SONG : #323: STARLESS

  1. Love the two. starless lps , def mood listens . Paul seems a genuine nice guy and pops up all over the place . Also been remastering some classic Scottish lps when they have been recently re released

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