|Format||LP + Signed Postcard/
PJ Moore first broke bread with the public consciousness as part of the original line up of The Blue Nile, along with Paul Buchanan and Robert Bell. Together with collaborators Malcolm Lindsay and Mike McKenzie, he’s created a luxurious bed of sound, an affecting record that feels alternatively like the leaves changing colour in autumn or new flowers breaking through frost in spring.
When A Good Day Comes heralds Moore’s re-emergence into active music making, a project that was encouraged by friend Malcolm Lindsay, who worked extensively on the record. The album follows Moore’s re-discovery of his beloved Jupiter 8 analogue synth which lends a warm glow throughout, lending the swelling chords a gravitas and grace. With Lindsay’s background in music for film, the album has an expansive, pictorial feel. It’s hard to remove comparisons to Moore’s previous group of course and there are stylistic similarities. Particularly the synth pads and crisp drum machines recall Hats-era Nile which, of course, is a very good thing. Vocalist Mike McKenzie had never heard Moore’s previous group when he began the project and brings his own style of quiet, emotion-laden restraint. With Moore as an arch stylist, his music is instantly recognisable as an element in The Blue Nile but with Lindsay and McKenzie and his side the result is a meditative album that references classic balladry suffused with electronic washes and well-tempered dynamics.
The album breathes with an almost oceanic grace, each track taking its time to unfurl out and evolve. The music remains open, supporting McKenzie’s plaintive, sympathetic singing. Each song features a highlighted instrument that dances around the spotlight. On Need To Believe the synth warbles into a steady groove that recalls the mid-80s Blue Nile peak, with McKenzie’s vocal performance bedded in to its surroundings offering an implicit hope in the delivery. Halfway Crazy primarily uses a piano for a slow burner before McKenzie’s vocal soars at the end recalling, to these ears anyway, a deconstructed Frank Sinatra in the arrangements: we can’t be the only people to think “Halfway Crazy” could be a song title on Songs For Swingin’ Lovers? No? Pale Moon Light uses choral and call / response vocal for a low key, spiritual tonality. On Next Time It Rains the acoustic guitar takes centre stage with some subtle Jupiter pads in the background and McKenzie’s vocal, particularly in the upper register recalling Chet Baker’s vocal work. The lyrics on When A Good Day Comes feel personal enough in McKenzie’s mouth but also open enough to be universal, these are human stories, timeless and resonant. Tales of relationships and the rituals that form and break them. Album closer Windows For Submarines strikes a positive ending note, with a pulsing synth bassline propelling the album gently into the sunset.
The Herald (Russell Leadbetter) – “Arriving at the sound of perfection – return of a Blue Nile legend”
Bryan Burnett, BBC Radio Scotland – “It really is a bit of magic. Love it.” [Need To Believe]
Grant Stott, BBC Radio Scotland – “An utterly stunning album” [When A Good Day Comes album]
Nicola Meighan, BBC Radio Scotland – “A stunning album you can lose yourself in….full of gorgeous music” [When A Good Day Comes – album]
Need To Believe
Good Until It's Gone
All That You Wanted
Next Time It Rains
When A Good Day Comes
Windows For Submarines