Comprising ten tracks recorded by Moller at his Singalong Junk home studio, Playing Songs, No One’s Listening To Roy Moller deftly demonstrates why Belle & Sebastian’s Stevie Jackson, a regular Moller collaborator, describes the Edinburgh-born songwriter as “amazing – blessed with great talent, enthusiasm and concentration: most of all he’s a lot of fun to work with and be around”.
Roy grew up in Leith, before moving to Glasgow in his late teens. In 1994 he joined Meth O.D., playing guitar alongside former Golden Dawn frontman Rob Smith, creating a handful of e.p.s and albums much aired by the late John Peel.
In 2000, Moller became a founder member of instrumental guitar band the Wow Kafe, playing lead guitar on their Who Shall Apologise To The Emperor (described by the NME as “utterly ace”).
Roy Moller’s solo career commenced in 2003 with his Felicite Singles Club 45 Maximum Smile. A prolific songwriter, releasing material with The Company (Moller, Jackson and Astrid’s Gary Thom) Playing Songs.. is Moller’s first album since his acclaimed 2006 debut long-player, Speak When I’m Spoken To and the most vivid evidence yet of what MTV Brazil has described as a “gobsmacking talent for creating catchy melodies..his lyrics are filled with humour and sarcasm, natural elements of his personality.”
The celebratory side of Moller’s love/hate relationship with his adopted city of Glasgow informs opening track Byres Road Saturday which eulogises one of his favourite thoroughfares and the title of a German soft-rock compilation lp he spied in a nearby record store inspires closer Slow Rock Forever.
The freakbeat stylings on offer at revered Glasgow Art School club Divine form the backdrop to Wonder Understand while the Dylanesque Out Of Print draws lyrical inspiration from some of the less picturesque areas of the city.
My Skyscrapers combines shimmering Stax guitar and subaquatic references in which Jacques Costeau makes an appearance;You Did Ask gives a shout out to Alice Coltrane.
If You Knew Where To Look emerged obliquely from Moller’s scoring of Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage for a student drama company with a touch of Truffaut thrown in : “In the garden’s a rose, the last one to stand. Took four hundred blows from the side of her hand.”
Downstate Update sees Moller updating his own past, building on an unreleased gem from his Meth O.D. era, taking it in the 21st century beat group direction which also underpins More Fool You. A 1962 book by Scots engine driver Norman McKillop about his travels on the Canadian Pacific Railway (Western Rail Trail) informs Rhythm From The Rails.
Find more info about the album and Roy here: http://www.roymoller.com/
Playing Songs, No One’s Listening To