http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/ma ... -blue-nile
Engineered by the son of Blue Nile producer Calum Malcolm, Mid Air was mostly recorded in Buchanan's flat, working "civilised hours" over a couple of years. Half-joking, he likens the process to Ted Hughes's "sacred trance": the songs appeared almost by accident while he was "banging away" in an attempt to come up with something for Garbage singer Shirley Manson, who had approached him to collaborate on her – as yet unmade – solo record. "Shirley is lovely and I really wanted to get what she wanted, but nothing came out of it in the end. It was only when I looked back I thought, I've got all these little things that I've just noted and put to one side."
He was writing from emotional necessity rather than any commercial impetus. "At no point did I think I was making a record. It never occurred to me that anybody else would listen to it. Looking back, that was a great thing. That unselfconscious quality becomes more elusive as you go on making music, so it's nice to be brought back to that very simple expectation. It was almost like starting out again. I wasn't deliberately making a record of fulfilling a contract. There's a joy and innocence in that."
I'm assuming the author here is the same Graeme Thomson who wrote 'Complicated Shadows' (and the Kate Bush one that I keep meaning to get round to). For my money 'A Walk Across The Rooftops' and 'Hats' are untouchable, almost perfect records, and the second two aren't bad either. Saw them at Somerset House a few years ago, I think that's the last time they officially did anything together.