Paul Duncan Be Careful What You Call Home

Existing somewhere in the songwriting stratosphere between Sufjan Stevens, Will Oldham and Múm, Paul Duncan explores a number of different yet intrinsically linked modern down-tempo styles. Whether he’s walking the lands of lush and hushed songs or floating along in gentle electronic instrumentals, Duncan knows how to make a melody line move along gracefully. His second album to date, Be Careful What You Call Home houses some real standouts in the Sufjan-esque heartstring pulls of "Tired and Beholden,” the Icelandic instrumental swathes of "Toy Bell” and the gentle yet propulsive post-rock heyday flourishes of "Toy Bass.” Throughout Be Careful Duncan repeatedly proves himself a talented multi-instrumentalist (he plays everything from drums and synth to glockenspiel and melodica) who’s capable of spinning a forlorn observation onto its head with a simple yet impacting line like "I remember mother’s hair/Don’t recall the colour of her eyes/Until I look at mine,” from "Oil in the Fields.” This is tender and moving stuff from a talent who’s bound to gain some notice in the coming years. (Hometapes)