Album review Scottish albums

Starry Skies

This is the second album release from Glasgow’s Warren McIntyre and his Starry Skies combo, and what a great record it is, nine tracks of pure pop bliss.

In these dark times it is good to hear some tunes which have been crafted with humanity, humour and love. As usual Warren has utilised the talents of his fellow Starry Skies, notably Heather on violin, Johnny on lead guitar, Jen on cello, Adam on bass and various drummers including Seb, with Sophie and viola and Matt on organ, and various people pitching on backing vocals.

Starting with recent single ‘I Want You to Know’, a track of pure joy, it moves onto the mid-paced title track, which brims 60s-influenced arrangements and harmonies, sounding a bit like an outtake from ‘Forever Changes’ by, well of course, Love!

‘Love’s River’ is lower in tempo, with some great guitar picking, sounding a bit like ‘Swan Swan…’ by REM, while ‘Here Comes the Moon’ is an out-and out-rocker, a bit goofy and with fantastic reverb, a kind of combination of ‘Bohemian Like You’ and ‘Parklife’-era Blur, it is infectious and drips with the kind collective vibe that you can’t put your finger on til you hear it, damn that’s it!

There are many influences but this band have their own unique sound, no more so in the glorious ‘What Will They Say?’ where the guitars and strings blend perfectly and a twangy guitar solo completes the sound.

‘The Other Side’ is a bluesy, urgent track which rails against indifference and prejudice, while ‘Sweet Honey Blue’ is an unashamed love song which recalls the Beatles ‘Let It Be’ era.  ‘Forgotten Dream’ is a bit menacing and fits well with Covid times, a message of hope against the doubters…

Last track ‘It Would Take Every Wave’ uses piano and guitar effectively to emote a heartfelt ode to love – the almost whispered tone of the lyrics combine with a catchy riff to give this a magical quality.

This album continues and builds on the spirit of Starry Skies’ first release ‘Be Kind’ and offers a more complete and developed vision of love – spread it around!