The yearning voice and sullen temperament behind the languid and lush Scottish outfit Travis, Fran Healy has been laying low of late. The primary task on his to-do list: commune with his diverse surroundings while recording his first solo effort in New York, Vermont and (mostly) Berlin. Whether the new Wreckorder (Ryko) benefits from that far-flung trio of locales—or guest appearances from Neko Case and Paul McCartney—is largely irrelevant to anyone who’s not already smitten by Healy’s majestically restrained brand of mope-rock understatement. The 10-song collection occasionally recalls the quieter moments on the already-pretty-quiet The Invisible Band, Travis’ 2001 LP. Only here, Healy turns even more insular as he’s left to stew in his own introspective juices. Healy will be guest-editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our Q&A with him.
Healy: I met Steve Malkmus while we they were recording what was to be their final album, Terror Twilight, in 1998. Good manners, shy, intensely intelligent. It was hugely interesting to be sitting on the studio floor while they worked on “The Hexx.” I was introduced to Pavement’s music when I was at art school in Glasgow by my friend Toby. He discovered them from the late John Peel. “Trigger Cut” was on constant rotation in my bashed-up green Mini Cooper for a year. I saw them play at Glasgow University. It was shambolic. I didn’t manage to see them when they reformed recently. Would have liked to see this.