Duncan Reid & The Big Heads – And It’s Goodbye From Him (Little Big Head)

Following his decision to quit the music industry after discovering he has autism, ex-The Boys member Duncan Reid releases his fifth and final studio album with his band, with the reasoning behind his decision laid bear in opening track, ‘Lost Again’: “All my life I’ve wondered why the world is so mad/People acting strange in ways I don’t understand/But now I know – it’s me.” The track showcases lovely burning embers of guitar. The album single, ‘Funaggedon Time’, follows with its billowing ‘showaddy-waddy’ Americana rhythm and blues guitar; a glamorous party track with touches of synth glitter.

With large chunks of the album written during the stagnancy of lockdown, references to this come through songs like ‘Can I Go Out Now Please’, which benefitted from a cross-sectional recording insight in Reid’s YouTube video diaries of the time; the track contains a great bassline for starters. This is also the first time Reid uses genuine strings on a Big Head release, seen in ‘It’s Going So Well’, which ends in an electric violin solo by Russian violinist Alex Musatov. The album, as well as political calling out via biting sardonic humour, also surrenders to positivity such as in ‘Real Good Time’, which features Maurice Hipkiss on pedal steel guitar.

The release returns to Reid’s discovery of his ADHD diagnosis with the song that had “the biggest impact on [his] life,” the ragtime piano of ‘Everybody Knows It’s True’. Musatov returns on the album in ‘Would I Lie To You’, a waltzing tale of privilege, self-pity and entitlement that he dedicates to Boris Johnson and makes the album a real mixed bag of genres and influences, quite unlike a Duncan Reid output that’s clearly intentional on his final hurrah. It finishes on the uplifting tunes of ‘The Gilded Cage’, another lockdown daydream, and finally ‘Singing With The Beach Boys’, there being no swan song as Reid probably intended. And with that, “It’s goodbye from him.”

‘And It’s Goodbye From Him’ is available now on coloured vinyl, CD and digitally.

© Ayisha Khan.