Glasgow-born singer / songwriter Daniel Wylie releases his charming solo album Ramshackle Beauty on Measured Records. The 14 tracks are the fruits of a year spent writing and recording after Daniel made an amicable departure from Cosmic Rough Riders, the band he co-founded and fronted on four albums. Showcasing Daniels uncanny ear for swooning guitars, classic melodies and sunny harmonies, the self-produced Ramshackle Beauty is aptly titled. From sing-along opening track and forthcoming lead-off single Make Love To The World to the wistful Brighton Beach and playful Chasing Rainbows, this is a collection of lovingly crafted new songs.
Alan McGee has already been playing the track Snow Pony on his Radio 1 Death Disco show, and many Scottish papers have tipped Daniel as a name to watch. He will be on the road with a new backing band.
, Daniel Wylie's debut solo album, is something of a revelation. After his amicable departure from Cosmic Rough Riders, a band he co-founded and fronted for four albums, it would have been understandable had he considered mining the same melodic, Byrds-like pop territory that earned kudos for his former band. To an extent that's what he does here, but this is very much a singer-songwriter's album, in a vein similar to some of the best stuff that's come out of the US in recent years, from Matthew Sweet through to Brendon Benson. To this formula, he adds some musical and lyrical tweeness that occasionally sounds like Teenage Fanclub writing lyrics for Belle & Sebastian.
Sometimes it gets a bit hippy-dippy (the childishly sweet "Michael the Butterfly", for example), but it's sung so earnestly that it's actually excusable (indeed, criticising it feels a bit like scolding a kitten for being too cute). Songs such as the sunny and upbeat "Make Love to the World" (all chiming guitars and optimism), the sweeping and glorious "Because I" and the catchy "Snow Pony" should please all those glass-is-half-full types out there. Those who prefer their music with a darker edge may find Ramshackle Beauty a bit too syrupy for their taste, but it's unlikely Wylie would mind too much. Judging by the evidence here, he'd probably just give them a hug. --Robert Burrow