Review : Philip Selway - Running Blind EP
PitchforkI keep trying to forget who I'm listening to when I listen to Running Blind, as though distancing myself from the associations I have with Philip Selway will help me to hear it as if it were made by a fresh name. I want to be able to judge it outside the shadow of Radiohead, the band Selway drums for, but I'm not sure that's really even possible. As Mark Pytlik did last year in his review of Selway's debut solo LP, Familial, I give Selway all the credit in the world for stepping out on his own and responding to a singing and songwriting muse that's never going to become a part of Radiohead's music. To make such straightforward singer-songwriter music only increases the challenge. It leaves him exposed as a performer in a way he's normally not when he's at the drum kit.
Familial was OK: a couple of memorable tracks and a lot of pretty filler. Running Blind comprises four songs that were left over when Familial was completed. One of them, "What Goes Around", was included as a bonus track in demo form on that album and gets fleshed out here. And Running Blind is... OK. It does move the sound on a bit-- Familial was almost self-consciously sparse, as though Selway wanted to distance it as much as possible from Radiohead and that band's mastery of texture and electronics in the context of songs. Running Blind opens up a little to the soundscape, though we're nowhere near The King of Limbs territory in that respect. The additions here are more like textural dressing for Selway's delicate, almost-whispered singing, which hasn't changed from the LP.
The new take on "What Goes Around" is the most compelling thing Selway has released under his own name. This has little to do with the arrangement, though, and everything to do with the fact that he strongly delivers a well-crafted melody, and the textural elements of the music pick up the thread from there to emphasize certain feelings implied in the lyrics. The other songs move with a bit less purpose-- Selway is getting good at setting a mood with his songs, as he does with a little Theremin and a brief wordless harmony passage on the title track, but there's very little energy in the music, and the tone doesn't vary much. The vaguely tribal drumming on "Every Spit and Cough" adds a little variety, but it can't quite get out from under its blanket of ambient keyboard and low-volume vocals....full text
AteasewebAs the press release states, ‘Philip wrote the songs that formed the track-listing for his acclaimed debut solo album he kept back a handful of beauties to release later, songs which he felt worked best as a separate piece of work and are now unveiled on this new EP. Although these four tracks were initially recorded during the album sessions, the songs evolved through Philip’s live shows and he subsequently returned to the studio to record them with his band. Providing supple and intriguing backing across the 4 tracks are Adem, Alex Thomas, Caroline Weeks and Kath Mann.’...full text
ClashmusicRadiohead drummer and successful solo artist, Philip Selway, has announced details of a new E.P., 'Running Blind', out 25th July.
The E.P. features four new songs initially recorded during the album sessions for his 'Familial' debut, now re-recorded for this release following his recent live work....full text
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