Review – David King – Look For Stars

Guitarist and composer David King is a unique voice in instrumental music from Motherwell in Scotland. His CV is extensive and includes a recent spell with legendary Scottish proggers Abel Ganz.

Adding to his back catalogue of solo albums, David will release his new EP ‘Look For Stars’ next month, CDs will be available from May 6th and streaming platforms will have the new music from 20th May. The five track EP called was written and recorded at home from October last year till about 2 weeks ago – constant tweeting not withstanding. It was mastered by Steve Kitch who plays keys in The Pineapple Thief

About the EP, David said; “There are some fine musicians joining me this time – all my previous albums were just me but I had a great drummer Max Saidi on all 5 tracks. Alan (Hearton) from Ganz plays some wonderful keys and piano on 3 songs and I had some additional bass and guitar from Brian Stewart and Alan Houston.

It’s all instrumental as you’ve seen on the video clips. In terms of influences it was more proggy than my previous releases but it still end up sounding like me, which is a good thing I suppose.  

I’m a real champion of the clean tones on guitar – I thoroughly appreciate the weedly weedly guys but I like textures like Alex Lifeson and Andy Summers.”

When I spoke to David about the new EP I said that it reminded me of legendary Journey guitarist Neal Schon’s solo instrumental release ‘Beyond The Thunder’ and, coincidentally, David is a huge fan of that album himself and its phenomenal sense of melody and where every note is in its right place. He also stated that another big influence is a band called Acoustic Alchemy who have very similar arrangements and are not too self indulgent, as a lot of instrumental bands can be.

Putting it simply, ‘Look For Stars’ is an utterly sublime EP, five tracks of instrumental music that just impresses on every level, written purely for the love of music and you can tell with every note. There is a haunting beauty and wistful wonder to the title track, Look For Stars, it pulls on your heartstrings with its sheer elegance and perfect form. The Spaces Inbetween almost has a latin, jazz infused rhythm, one that gets your hips moving and your toes tapping and reminds me a lot of jazz guitar great Martin Taylor and his ability to grab your attention with his fluid guitar playing. Alan Hearton’s keys add a real touch of class to what is a really good track.

Wave After Wave has a more laid back feel and is as smooth as they come, a piece of music that takes away all the worries of the world and replaces them with a relaxed and restrained atmosphere and late night jazz lounge mood. The staccato opening to The Magic Music belies the delight that follows, an upbeat track that really energises and puts a smile on your face, there is joy at play here and a real sense of wonder. This EP is such an immersive pleasure that, in no time at all, we are at the final track and A Planet Of Playthings is a fitting close to the release. There is something underneath the surface here, something that gives the music life and its very own essence, it is simply breathtaking.

Look For Stars’ is the album that I have found most spiritually uplifting so far this year, I adore the whole EP, I just love the joyous, uplifting feel that permeates the whole release, it’s music that is written for the love of music and it shows in every note!

Released 6th May, 2022 (CD).

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