James Iha: Look To The Sky

Star (shoe) gazing with Pumpkins co-founder.

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Judging by his recent CV (A Perfect Circle, multitudinous collaborations) and the fact that his last solo offering was 14 years ago, it seems Iha is enjoying a creative fertile-patch.

Forgoing the leftfield muscle of his first band for a breezy alt-pop-rock-lite, it’s a subtle and mature piece of work.

Essentially acoustic guitar driven, though sometimes informed by 80s indie (The Cure) and neon new-wave synths (Vangelis), occasionally a darker, more experimental edge emerges, as on Attitude which lists Bowie pianist Mike Garson and Television’s Tom Verlaine among its contributors.

Mostly though, the prevailing mood is mellifluous and mellow. Iha’s voice – while limited in range and largely softly spoken – beautifully compliments the musical-box melodies, while some perfectly-scored strings illustrate Iha’s expertise in arrangement and (whisper it) understated class.

Tim Batcup

Tim Batcup is a writer for Classic Rock magazine and Prog magazine. He's also the owner of Cover To Cover, Swansea's only independent bookshop, and a director of Storyopolis, a free children’s literacy project based at the Volcano Theatre, Swansea. He likes music, books and Crass.