Philip Selway: Weatherhouse

Radiohead drummer hits his extracurricular stride.

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The man once known ‘just’ as Radiohead’s drummer has said that this second solo album feels “in a very different space” from his first.

This isn’t just hot air. If 2010’s debut Familial was well received, it was often understandably tentative as Selway found his way around a new role at the centre of things as both a singer and writer. Weatherhouse is much more confident and colourful, racing into fresh channels and exercising greater muscle. Also, put simply, these are better songs. Working as part of a trio with Adem Ilhan (who also produces) and Quinta, mostly at Radiohead’s Oxfordshire studio, Selway’s music now touches on darker places compared to the gentle prettiness of Familial. Each track offers a unique character of its own, from the echoing vocals and dramatic stealth of Coming Up For Air to the Lennon-esque piano of It Will End In Tears. Ghosts is appropriately spooky, and though there’s no denying that it resembles, in parts, twisted Radiohead ballads of a certain era, its beauty overcomes the comparison. Drawn To The Light chimes with affirmation, Selway’s vocal totally convincing in its newly found grit and gristle. The weather here’s changeable and charming.

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts has written about music, films, and art for innumerable outlets. His new book The Velvet Underground is out April 4. He has also published books on Lou Reed, Elton John, the Gothic arts, Talk Talk, Kate Moss, Scarlett Johansson, Abba, Tom Jones and others. Among his interviewees over the years have been David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Bryan Ferry, Al Green, Tom Waits & Lou Reed. Born in North Wales, he lives in London.