Woodland Echoes 8/10
Even when fronting Haircut 100, Nick Heyward’s blue-eyed funk always seemed to turn away from the big city and instead relish the semi-rural suburbia of south London. Here, on his first solo album since 2001, he’s gone full pastoral, the birdsong and countryside imagery matching the dreamy, sunny majorsevenths. “Baby Blue Sky” and the idyllic “Perfect Sunday Sun” invoke Teenage Fanclub; the ragtime guitar of “Who” and the jazz waltz “Love Is The Key By The Sea” recall Beck. But it’s Paul McCartney whom Heyward most resembles throughout – both his cooing tenor voice and his impressive way with a smart chord change.