the lilac time

Heralding an imminent album in the shape of ‘no sad songs’ – incidentally arriving early April and his first for some seven years – Stephen Duffy emerges from the pops wilderness returning to turntables with the taster track ‘she writes a symphony’ under the long serving guise of the Lilac Time. Light, breezy and pimpled in a warming summer cool, ‘she writes a symphony’ is possessed of a classic Duffy casualness. And before you all take to pens readying to fire off dismissive missives – that wasn’t meant as a criticism but rather a compliment, for Duffy you feel has been for too long happy to flirt on and off with his musical muse hitting the kind of ease and comfort in his song craft that other less admired (here) and generally more feted so called nations saving graces might well raise an envious eyebrow. ‘she writes a symphony’ strikes a deceptive soft psych pose, trimmed with a pop prowess that harks back to Roddy Frame / Aztec Camera there’s a crisp radio friendly immediacy which in truth has never left the Duffy / Lilac Time work bench since their inception some thirty years ago though here coalescing succinctly to free flow in the vapour trails of a late 80’s sounding Bunnymen, this being all the more apparent by the crystalline arabesque riffage a la Will Sergeant. Add to the mix the sun kissed pastorals, the dreamy mirages and the irrefutable tug of 60’s shimmies and you have yourself something of a dansette dandy for the asking.

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