Saturday, 5 April 2008

I Felt My Sad Heart Soar – Kelman

This is a three-track sampler for Kelman’s rather excellently titled forthcoming second album and a very pleasing thing it is indeed. The band have built on their melancholic, alcoholic tear-stained sound, gently prising it open to let in wisps of fresh air. They say they’re aiming for a rawer sound, closer to their live excursions (which can be heart-wrestingly, wrist-snappingly wonderful) whilst keeping the warmth and intimacy of their debut. And jings! I think they’ve achieved this.

Kelman have warmth and intimacy for sure, at times you feel embarrassed to be eavesdropping on Wayne Gooderham’s thoughts. Take former single ’Is This How It Ends?’ reprieved here with its shiveryness and blood pumping in the ears rumble and the words ‘On the brink of something big. I’ve never known failure like this…’ You want to blush and look away, but icicle-drops of glockenspiel drip into a swell of guitar and organ and you cling on until seascape cymbals shimmer you towards a big finish, rushing impulsively over the edge.

‘Commercial Road’ sees Kelman in almost-optimistic-mood-shocker! It takes some song-writing ability to write anything of beauty about this particular East End street, but here is an affecting song filled with soft ripples of delight. A gentler, more soothing sound with twinkly bits and brass tones (you can’t be down when the brass kicks in) and those words, "I felt my sad heart soar". Hang on though, what’s this? "Oh Lord I need a drink". Oh dear.

There’s a lot of drunkenness in Kelman’s songs, and it seems like the new album will see more booze-fuelled long dark nights of the soul. This is, of course, no bad thing, as Kelman are quiet masters of the art. ‘Shut A Final Door’ sees Mr Gooderham "drunk in charge of a wired jealous heart" sliding through Tindersticks territory with cello and piano until everything cracks wide open on a jubilant organ riff and redemptively strummed guitar. Sounds to make your heart soar coming soon. Can’t wait!

No comments: