Boomkat Product Review:
It would be unfair to throw the singer/songwriter tag at Paul Duncan - in all fairness that's precisely what he is, yet his records are decidedly more ambitious than this. Above The Trees is a real feast for the ears with lavish string arrangements, immaculate Nashville-style lapsteel and sporadic outbreaks of avant-garde mayhem. It comes as something of a surprise to learn that all this was recorded in just a single week after a three-month writing period. There's no doubting Duncan's quality as an exponent of top notch modern Americana: 'Parasail' sounds uncannily like something from Bonnie 'Prince' Billy and Matt Sweeney's Superwolf project, whilst 'The Lake Pt. 2' sounds like it might have come from the same creative muse as Jim O'Rourke's "Insignificance". There are some notable turns from the album's numerous contributors too, including Tortoise's Doug McCombs, Grizzly Bear's Christopher Bear, Rhys Chatham cohorts David Daniell and Adam Wills, who supply some serious musical firepower to Duncan's considerable talents as a writer. Highly recommended.