On ‘Permanent Way’, Cunningham laughs in the face of ‘difficult second album’ syndrome and ‘acoustic-singer-songwriter’ imagery with boosted colours and dynamics, while retaining the essence of the man’s achingly personable appeal.
In terms of production, it’s more of a team effort: Duncan Tootill returns to co-produce (while adding piano and synth) but the album was predominantly put together alongside producer/engineer Sam Scott (who also adds brass and keyboards and percussion). A trip to LA for a session with producer Rodaidh McDonald (the xx, king krule), added ‘don’t go far, ‘bite’ and ‘force of habit’ to the finished record.
‘Permanent Way’ documents life’s uncertainties: the need for intimacy and love, but also space and independence.
“I’m quite a private person outside of performing” Cunningham admits. “There is some autobiographical stuff in the lyrics, but it flits in and out quite a lot; it’s much more about people generally and their interactions”
- permanent way
- don’t go far
- sink in
- different spaces
- interlude (tango)
- hundred times
- maybe we won’t
- force of habit