The ‘tu-whit, tu-who’ of an owl, a distant droning piano growing ever closer, a wail of guitar feedback that breaks off as the piano begins its melody and a bass and bell signal the entrance of a wall of treated voices….
So begins Moonglow Man and his Band of Beams, the opening track of Colin Lloyd Tucker’s new album Moonglow Man. The clouds have parted and the moon is full, a terrific CLT moment.
Moonglow Man is Lloyd Tucker’s first album of completely new material since Visitor in 2017.
He has been no slouch though, producing the Shire/Metroland E.P. couplet and a string of entertaining singles in the meantime. These singles were collected together for a CD, Space Cadet–His Mission is Clear and issued exclusively on his website for Christmas 2019.
Moonglow Man is also being made available on CD only from his site with a digital release planned for later in the year.
The CD comes in a card wallet with an eight-page booklet that contains all of the lyrics.
I found myself reading through this before hearing a note of the disc. Unlike most writers in the world that, for the sake of argument I will call ‘pop music’, CLT’s lyrics are very readable, often funny but also poetic, though never pretentious
The concept here is, according to Colin “Light, and its effect on the human condition” but it is only a loose concept spread over nine tracks, he hasn’t forced the idea just to make things fit.
Melodies do return from time to time and lyrical themes are revisited in a way that pulls this album together, perhaps necessary when dealing with such a diverse collection of sounds, a CLT trait for sure.
So, we get moments of funk, pop, some incredible acapella singing and even jazz enhanced by guest guitar virtuoso Brian Neil in a bewitching brew.
The appropriately cool In the Shade moves along on a wave of dark funk with a relaxed vocal harmony that perfectly conveys the heat of a hot summers day.
Evening Song captures its subject equally well with psychedelic guitars, dreamy sustained flute sounds (mellotron?) and some truly angelic singing.
The longest track, clocking in at nine and a half minutes is Moonglow’s Return, partially a reprise of the aforementioned Moonglow Man and his Band of Beams that melts into a prolonged instrumental. Whilst Mr Neil performs the guitar equivalent of a pyrotechnics display CLT nips off for a costume change and returns donning his studio whizz-kid hat creating touches of Jamaican dub and all manner of sonic skulduggery.
I could go on and mention the ukulele ditty about little green men (Star People) or Twilight with its nineteen sixties, slightly Running Scared vibe but you need to hear it yourselves to fully appreciate this illuminating album.
Colin Lloyd Tucker is the greatest undiscovered songwriter/craftsman of his generation.
A maverick genius.
Jack Boyce – Kurrent Music