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Kelman – Loneliness Has Kept Us Alive (Liner Records)

‘Nothing Shines Like A Dying Heart’ claimed Baptiste on their one and only album. Now resurrected as Kelman ex-Baptises Wayne and Marc Gooderham, along with new recruit Paul Ragsdale, are continuing their existential explorations with their latest collection of bruised melancholia.

‘Loneliness Has Kept Us Alive’ is a downbeat celebration of the weary side of life. Ennui gives succour, and inspiration is found in tales of gently decaying lives. Kelman are about leaving people and places behind, burnt fingers, broken hearts, hurting heads and seeking solace in a bottle.

But this bleak outlook is tempered by the warmth of Kelman’s sound. The songs softly blossom like blood flowers built around minimal velvety riffs, soothing tides of keyboard, heartbeat drums and tambourine punctuation. Chiming chords underline the swell of sound that gradually floods each track, whilst twisting around them, soft, bitter and intimate is Wayne Gooderham’s voice. “These days don’t stop kicking us around” he sighs as an oceanic shiver somehow rises up from the simplest of quiet beginnings and a slow, watchful drumbeat.

‘Fucked And Far From Home’ glimmers then burns bright, interrupted by a gently nagging line of discord reminiscent of Puressence’s ‘India’. ‘Hearts Break Every Day’ picks its way round a wistful guitar line, negotiates cymbals that swish like autumn leaves and grows ravishing amidst layers of keyboard. A downy soundtrack to shuffling moodily through dark streets glowering at the cheap sparkle of fairground lights and muttering “I’m sick of these dizzy heights”.

Despite or maybe because of its rueful after-hours mood, this is a luxuriant album made to be wrapped around you, to bind your dark thoughts close that you might warm yourself in their glow. Perfect winter night listening.

R.R.R.G: Interuptive blemished disaccordance

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