ON HIS THIRD solo album, Steve Mason veers dangerously close to that overfarmed damaged-earnest-sensitive-bloke territory, but luckily he doesn’t seem capable of schmaltz or emotional cheap shots. And he’s a brilliant songwriter. Water Bored has a terrible title but it’s an elegant, swooning pep talk with touches of hands-in-the-air piano and lovely vocals that turn it into a gruff lullaby. The extraordinary Planet Sizes (below) is urgent and angry, with pounding piano and dark lyrics, then soars for a cosmic chorus. Tender sun-dappled folk runs throughout, laced with old-raver ingredients – closer Words In My Head has a synth echo and a fuzzy amen break straight from 1990. As ever, Mason gives himself nowhere to hide – lyrics, feelings and influences from the heart and the soul – but this time he’s cheered right up.
Listen to Meet The Humans in full via Apple Music.