Skyline is Yann Tiersen’s seventh album, so perhaps it’s uncharitable to kick off by saying he is still best remembered – especially on this side of La Manche – for his score of the movie Amelie.

But Christ on a bike, what a soundtrack that was – one of the few soundtracks I have actually purchased on CD. Tiersen’s gorgeous music undeniably added to the overall beauty of the film, and no doubt is part of the reason I fell in love with Audrey Tattou. Restraining orders notwithstanding, I hope Tiersen will ultimately score the music to our inevitable nuptials.

I was lucky enough to see Tiersen play live at music festival in Rennes, with vocalist Shannon Wright, and have followed his career ever since, through subsequent albums including last year’s Dust Lane.  Skyline is in much the same vein, much more raucous and overdriven than you might imagine if you only knew his music from Amelie. Tiersen draws sonic sketches with a broad palette – using a mix of instruments. Some tracks, like the singles ‘Monuments’ and ‘The Gutter’, feature original vocals both male and female, while other tracks use sampled vocals and strange electronic screams to engender a fractious atmosphere. Overall the sound is more Smashing Pumpkins than Gallic accordion.

Tiersen draws on influences as varied as Erik Satie and Joy Division, happy to involve anything from an accordion to a typewriter in his work. Many of the tracks on the new album rely more heavily on the guitar. At times the resulting sound is quite heavy and abrasive, at other others lush, melodic. And sometimes all that happens within the same song. There is usually a sinister edge, for instance the darkness underlying ‘Hesitation Wound’ and the howling, animal noises that begin the song ‘Exit 25 Block 20’. I ain’t leaving via that exit, believe me.

Distorted guitars, clunky piano, strange sounds and dream-spooky vocals combine to form an album of soundtrack music; not to a French movie this time, but more solipsistic soundscapes to interior movies, projected on the mind’s more intimate screen.

Release Date 17/10/2011 (Mute)

Simon is a writer, broadcaster and countercultural investigator. Over the last 15 years he has written for everyone from The Guardian to Loaded magazine, presented television for Rapture TV and hosted radio programs for the likes of Galaxy. He has also found time to earn a Masters Degree in Novel Writing and write three books (a collection of journalism, a guidebook to Ibiza and one on financial planning for young people – the most varied publishing career it’s possible to have) and establish and run a PR company, Pad Communications, looking after a range of leisure and lifestyle clients.He currently splits his time between researching his PhD at Leeds University, looking into various countercultural movements; consulting freelance for PR clients; writing for the likes of Marie Claire in Australia, The Big Issue and the Manchester Evening News, where he reviews concerts, theatre and is their Pub & Bar Editor. He is also broadcaster, appearing regularly on Tony Livesey’s late night 5Live show for the BBC, and also for BBC Radio Manchester Gourmet Night food and drink show.Simon’s main focus has been music and travel. His career has included editing Ministry of Sound’s magazine in Ibiza for two summers and also writing two long-running columns for DJmagazine – ”Around The World in 80 Clubs” (which took him everywhere from Beijing to Brazil, Moscow to Marrakech) and “Dispatches From The Wrong Side”. A collection of the latter was published in the UK and US as the book Discombobulated, including tales as varied as gatecrashing Kylie Minogue’s birthday party, getting deported from Russia, having a gun held to his head by celebrity gangster Dave Courtney and going raving in Ibiza with Judith Chalmers. He has recently written for the likes of Red magazine, Hotline, Clash, Tilllate, Shortlist and the Manchester Evening News. Pad Communications has recently consulted for clients as varied as Manchester nightclubs and New Zealand toy companies.On a personal note, Simon is a Londoner who left the capital at the age of 18 and never looked back. He sees himself as a citizen of the global dancefloor having lived in Sydney, Los Angeles, Ibiza and Amsterdam. However his life is now rather more sedentary. After all his adventures he bumped into and subsequently married his highschool sweetheart from their North London Grammar. They now live in Stockport with their four children and four chickens, trying to live the good life. Simon recently turned 40 and is steadfastly refusing to have a midlife crisis – as in, growing a ponytail and buying a shiny red sports car.OK, maybe he’ll buy the sports car…