The drummer of infamous band Radiohead has branched out to start a new solo project. The Running Blind EP is Philip Selway’s second release after the Familial album came out in August last year.
These four songs are in many ways a continuation of his last album. They were in fact intended for use on Familial and recorded last year for that purpose, but have instead been kept aside for the release of this EP. Apart from the obvious though, they perservere with the stripped down, simplistic approach which was adopted in his previous tracks.
There is nothing striking or thought-provoking about these four songs, except maybe a question of why there is virtually no use of drums (which is ironic when it is what Selway masters best). Maybe this is his statement, but his attempt at doing something different shows undeniable influences from Radiohead. His use of glitchy electronic layers, loops and harmonies scream King of Limbs and the older ‘Talk Show Host’.
Save ‘All In All’, there lacks contrast between the melodies and rhythmic structure of each song and they avoid any real climactic progression. His accent appears confused; at times overtly Thom Yorke-english and at others, slipping into faux-American. The whole EP comes across like its formation was hugely impressionable and lacking in confidence.
However, the simplicity of the chord progressions and the bare vocal harmonies places emphasis on the lyrical content. It is clear that Selway’s lyrics are written reflective of his experiences and emotions and it is this raw exposure that makes his EP so captivating. If you accept this EP as a vulnerable collection of ballads, then you start to understand its beauty.
Although Running Blind avoids any uniqueness in its singer-sonwriter capacity and certainly doesn’t push the boundaries of Radiohead proportions, it shows a sincerity and authenticity that is missing in much of the music currently being released.
Philip Selway is playing at Truck Festival this weekend and his performance should certainly not be missed.
Released on 25th July 2011 by Bella Union