Monday, 25 July 2011

Not Another Singer Songwriter - Duncan Sheik

Not Another Singer Songwriter this week heads across the Atlantic for Duncan Sheik. His debut self titled lp released in 1997 features lush reflective songs with a hushed Nick Drake type vocal. It went gold in he US and featured one top 20 hit and a Grammy award. Since then there has been 5 more lps and an anthology, but hasn't really troubled the charts (apart from strangely a US dance chart number 1)

He reminds me a bit of a slightly poppier David Sylvian. Like David Sylvian he gets involved in a hell of a lot and wide variety of other projects. The most successful of these being composing the music for the Tony award winning  musical Spring Awakening (which apparently he wrote over a period of 8 years).

This month sees the release of a new lp intriguingly titled 80s cover (actually probably not that intriguing as it is an lp of 80s cover versions). I've no idea if it has a UK release but having looked at the track listing , all the songs are where I really like the originals. It includes New Order's Love Vigilantes, Japan's Gentlemen Take Polaroids , The Smith's William and interestingly Thompson Twins' Hold Me Now (although Howard Jone's What is Love I'm not so sure about!)

You can stream a couple of the tracks here - a great version of Depeche Mode's Stripped (which you can get as a free download on his site here) and an okay Tears for Fears's Shout

As an idea of how it all started here is a track from the debut lp which reminds me of Secrets of the beehive era Sylvian

Reason For Living - Duncan Sheik

You can buy a compilation of his songs here


  1. Love his stuff.
    Duncan Sheik, Humming and Phantom Moon are all fine albums although I was a little non plussed with his latest, Whisper House. For an entry point there's a great compilation 'Brighter/Later' which has most of his stuff remastered.

  2. Hi Trev

    have you followed the link to his 80s covers lp - the version of Depeche mode's Stripped is well worth a listen

    I've got his debut but that is it - where should i go next apart form the compilation?

  3. I reckon 'Duncan Sheik' is his best.
    Phantom Moon is mostly acoustic; lovely and pastoral.
    'Humming' radio friendly but still gorgeous.
    I'd still recommend the compilation though.
    I look forward to the covers album...
    Saturday morning, 2.30 am, listening to Ennio M (Cinema Paradiso) and not a dry eye in the house.
    Music IS great...


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