Duncan Lloyd – I O U M E
Indie Rock | Dream Pop
This latest solo record from Duncan Lloyd, guitarist and musical driving force behind Maximo Park, arrives at an unusual time. With its release just a month after his band’s latest album Risk To Exist, naturally it’s hard not to compare the two. I O U M E lacks the arresting lyrical one-liners that populate Maximo Park’s latest record, but this is counteracted by a greater musical scope, ambition and diversity. ‘The City Weeps’ kicks off the album with a great galloping rhythm, ‘You Seem Confused’ features bright indie riffs and creates an atmosphere akin to The Smiths, while album highlight ‘A Little Lit Up’ features some emphatic splashes of harmonica that really catch you off-guard and grab your attention. Drawing on 90s dream pop and psychedelic influences, alongside the indie rock you’ve come to expect, Lloyd has created a soundscape to reflect his own spirit and individuality.
The album’s title will at the very least raise a few eyebrows. “What’s in a name?” you may ask, and in this instance we find the record’s greatest failing. Musically the album is a little top-heavy, with most of the highlights found within the first half, but given that the album is focussed more on creating a particular album-spanning vibe than making hit singles it’s certainly not the end of the world. Often solo albums fall on opposite ends of the spectrum, either leaving a black mark on an artist’s legacy or raising them up from obscurity; here we find an exception to the rule. This latest solo effort is just as worthy of your time as any Maximo Park record, albeit for different reasons. Duncan Lloyd has followed his own path that carries enough of his band’s identity to bring existing fans along for the journey, but offers plenty of new sounds to bring new listeners into the fold.