MOJO Magazine Feb 2012:
we anticipate a release this year Mojo says April-May!!! This is unconfirmed- but hence the date is april-may for this virtual event. The Blue Nile’s sonorous voice returns as a solo artiste: “I was going to call it “Minor Poets of the 17th Century” says Paul Buchanan of his debut solo album due in April or May. “I found a book in Oxfam with that title and that's exactly how I feel about myself.” The singer’s first LP since the Blue Nile’s “High” in 2004, is “a piano at two in the morning with a dictaphone” affair. “It's very solitary and very empty.” he adds of the work, eventually opted to call it “Mid-Air”
Buchanan and Mojo are enjoying rolls and square sausage at his local Greasy Spoon in Glasgow, The singer, 56 in April, knows the middle-aged waitress by name. Parts of “Mid-Air” were recorded at his home and he also made use of Gorbals Sound, state-of-the-art studios bringing part of the city traditionally thought less than salubrious.
“No one else plays on the record” he says “it was just myself and a young engineer. I wanted the songs to be like someone speaking directly to you. The key thing for me is to try and capture those little elements of humanity. It doesn't matter where you live, if you hear an ambulance you go to the window and hope that it’s not coming for someone you know.
“The building that I live in looks onto other Glasgow buildings” Buchanan goes on, explaining the genesis of new song “Half the world”,” You’re sitting in the kitchen at three in the morning but if you look out, there are lights on all over the place, you think “what are they thinking about? What's keeping them awake?”
Buchanan says there were no extraneous pressures propelling the record that “it was written from a place of humility, born out of the loss of a close friend. “There's no smoky saxophones or set em’ up Joe piano chords though” he adds “it's quite celebratory and I hope its engaging. My friend was very moral, not for any religious reason but because he loved people. What I observed in him over the course of our friendship was bravery, I miss him.”
Though the singer says he has "no expectations, none" from “Mid-air” He also notes that what has looked like semi retirement from the music business, has made him feel “dangerous” as a songwriter again, enough to fight to die he concludes he “might not be John Lennon or Mahler but that's okay I have a modest life and I know the world won't care if I give up tomorrow but once in a while someone will stop me in the street and say to me, “My wife and I got married to your song”- it’s tiny moments like that that resonates with me”
Buchanan on the course of The Blue Nile: Does The Blue Nile still exist? “I'm not entirely sure. Neither Robert [Bell] nor myself haven’t seen the third guy [Paul Joseph Moore} for years. With Robert I know better than to ask him about the band but I love and respect him and I've hinted about us making another record. The more I look back on The Blue Nile, the more I feel like [Samuel] Beckett. Everybody has their criteria and their motives, but I cannot stress enough that we never saw ourselves as musicians. We tried to do the most austere, sackcloth and ashes self-flagellation thing that we could on the way to making a record that was free of any pose and it resonated with some people. We were never trying to make hits; we were trying to invoke something that has no name. I am grateful for what we had before. We thought we were The Marx Bros and we never bought into that “look at us, we’re in a band” thing. I wish we had been the Beatles but if “You said you can have that, but you can't have that time when your partner touched your face and told you she loved you” , “I’d say I'll take what we had.”