He comes from just outside Glasgow, but it's the Mersey rather than the Clyde that flows through his musical veins, no doubt due, in part, to being raised on his dad's Beatles albums. Indeed, Paul McCartney's son James even plays guitar on the album.
As you might imagine, given Buddy Holly and the Stones were also formative influences and he also spent time living in California, this skews to the poppier side of things, opening number 'I Need Your Love', featuring, as do several tracks, Youth and the Verve's Simon Tong on bass and guitars, respectively, having a blues inflected late 60s West Coast groove while 'California Son' is all sunshine pop.
'Making A Start' ploughs a similar close harmony field to vintage America or CS&N, a laid back chilled out feel that spills over into the echoey vocals title track with its simple acoustic strum and sythscapes, reminiscent of the more blissed out moments of early Jim Webb.
Again built around just a simple acoustic guitar setting, the waltzingly melodic 'Alone' shows his Scottish background in the vocals while the song itself suggests a folksy Lennon or early Lindisfarne, the latter a comparison that could also be extended to the swirly atmospherics of 'Lost And Found', another waltztime number with MacLeod's vocals taking on a touch of vibrato.
Elsewhere 'Tales of the Expected' is a jaunty strum that put me in mind of the folksier side of Ocean Colour Scene, as did the swayalong melody and layered harmonies of 'Put Out This Flame', the album ending on the near eight-minute 'Saudade', more soundscape than actual song with its lengthy shimmering synths and chiming acoustic guitars intro before the cascading vocals and electric guitar chords (courtesy Ride's Andy Bell) arrive. Get yourself lit up.
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