To those of us who don’t live in big cities, whose surroundings are more suburban, small town or rural, there is something intriguing, possibly slightly otherworldly, about life in the metropolis. Those extremes of the wealth and destitution, the clashes of culture and creed, the hustle and the loneliness, the bright lights and the dark secrets. As someone who has lived all over London in particular and in similar places across the world, Marty-Wilson Piper’s ode to city life is both well observed and poetic.
Joined as always by his Noctorum partner Dare Mason, the duo, augmented by some emotive trumpet and rich backing vocals, have created a wonderful sound track to the highs and lows of living in the urban sprawl. Just as the cover artwork is a blend of the dark and the day-glo, so the nature of the lyrics covers the same dichotomy and musically runs along some shimmering and subtle guitar lines and gorgeous sonic textures.
Noctorum, whose forthcoming album The Afterlife will be out in the New Year following a successful crowd-funding campaign, is proving that, though MW-P’s best known previous exploits in The Church and All About Eve might appear to be hard acts to follow, there are still exciting musical chapters to be written. Chapters that in time will be just as a big, important and musically exciting as those already written.