Coronavirus update: View cancelled events here

Steve Mason 'Meet the Humans' Review

Jimmy Coultas tucks into the latest offering from the Scottish troubadour.

Ben Smith

Last updated: 4th Mar 2016

Image: Steve Mason

As the lead singer of Scottish cult group The Beta Band, Steve Mason carved out a niche as one of the greatest examples of experimental indie at its best, influencing artists as disparate as Django Django and Public Service Broadcasting in the process.

Meet the Humans (stream above on Spotify) is his third offering as a solo artist, a decisively more light infused offering than the two LPs that preceded it. Album opener 'Water Bored' comes off as a solid introduction to what to expect, with more than a touch of Mancunian troubadour Badly Drawn Boy and his city brethren Elbow about it - no surprise the latter's Craig Potter produced the offering.

The record does skirt that blokey, MOJO reader template fairly well ('Another Day' sounds like it's readied for a reunion episode of TV drama Cold Feet), but that's not necessarily a bad thing. One thing that does become apparent is that Mason's voice definitely works better for more hushed offerings, the folksy bliss of 'Through My Window' and 'Run Away' fine examples of it - particularly when the emergence of strings towards the end of the latter add an effervescence of muted euphoria.

The stand-out though, by some distance, is the glorious 'Planet Sizes' a track which came about earlier in the year (watch the video above) and is the kind of joyous grown up pop which deserves to soundtrack the better festivals this year. If he keeps knocking them out like this the refrain of "the universe is mine" won't prove to be hollow chutzpah.

See Steve Mason's tour dates