Philip Selway released his second solo work titled Running Blind on July 25 with Bella Union in the UK. The album is an EP derived of material left over from his 2010 debut Familial that has previously been made public during live sets. Radiohead fans may recognize Selway’s famously held position as drummer in the monster English band. That being said it is incredibly brave for Selway to release his own projects as it will infinitely be colored by his associations with the aforementioned. In interviews Selway cites his mother’s death as the cause of this newfound courage.
“Running Blind” starts the album off simply with just some notes picked out on acoustic guitar. Then Selway’s soft vocals come in with some refreshingly understandable lyrics: “Just like you, I’m running blind again.” There’s nothing special about this track until an unexpected Theremin joins the mix. Secondly is “All in All” which sounds very much like the track before it and has a positive message about appreciating everything you have.
Track three “Every Spit and Cough” sounds a bit fuller in orchestration. Some interesting lines are sung about presumably an ex-lover: “you’ll suck the light out of everyone.” Familial included the fourth track “What Goes Around” as a bonus demo. This recording is definitely more quality, but it feels like it needs more of a foundation. The sound hangs in the air uncomfortably, like an introduction that has gone on for too long. Let the beat drop and crash through the xylophone. Don’t be a tease.
While this EP has great rhythmic precision, it is also unfortunately kind of boring. There are well constructed themes and polished musical layers, but unless soft acoustic lullabies are really your thing, it misses the mark by being wholly unexciting.
Running Blind also includes a live session video of the title song as a final track.