Being a drummer in an artistically respected, but extremely popular, rock band can often see you staying in the backseat, keeping the rhythms pumping while remaining fairly low profile.
So, it came as quite a pleasant surprise when Radiohead’s Philip Selway stepped up to the microphone and released 2010’s Familial.
With Weatherhouse, he returns to the scene and, while not possessing the expansive flair or commercial nous of a Phil Collins, has come up with another fine album that takes a healthy step away from his fully folk-fuelled first.
The opening Coming Up For Air sets the mood from the outset with delicately pulsing backing tracks building slowly up in layers and instruments shuffling politely out of each other’s way.
There’s a sense of rooms too small, lightbulbs too dim, a subtle unease that lingers throughout without expanding into full blown claustrophobia.
This really comes from the production values employed - sweeping mellotrons, echoed semi-mute drum patterns, reverb-soaked vocals - because the melodies themselves are honey-soaked, the songs dripping with quality tunes that coaxingly suggest repeated listens
With his restless falsetto and always interesting rhythmic sensibility, Selway has stepped out of a giant shadow with a soft walk and a couple of interesting points to prove.
A slowly stirring album, Weatherhouse could easily be overlooked but is well worth seeking out.
Musician, actor, singer, music reviewer, Phil’s interests cover a lot of bases and this is reflected in the music he writes about. From blues to soul, ambient to electronic, Phil writes about artists he feels are interesting, true to their craft and worthy of your ears.