The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Reviews

Kelman
I Felt My Sad Heart Soar John Doran , January 5th, 2009 16:19

] I can’t remember any of the platitudes that I was offered, the first time I ever got my heart broken. How dare they try and understand the indescribable pain I was going through! There was no way they could possibly understand how I was feeling! The one thing I do remember someone saying to me was this though: “You’ll miss it when it’s gone you know.” I’d never heard such utter rubbish! One; there was no way this apocalyptic pain was ever going to end and two; even if it did, I sure as hell wouldn’t mourn its passing.

They were, of course, completely right. The stages of getting over heartbreak are remarkably similar to the stages of getting over bereavement; the final furlongs are preparing to return to a normal life. It is time to say goodbye to this heightened state of feeling you have been experiencing. Hopefully forever. Probably not though.

Kelman are a three piece headed by Wayne Gooderham (vocals, guitars), his brother Marc (drums, percussion) and Paul Ragsdale (keyboards, melodic) who savour the sadness lustily and this album is remorsefully enjoyable. It feels like your ex-girlfriend coming round to your house but just to pick up her juicer. She looks fantastic but she can’t stop as she’s got to go round to her new boyfriend’s house to make him cocktails. You know how gut-churningly bad you’ll feel later but for now there’s always a cup of tea drank in strained and aching silence.

The band sound like they are past masters at leafing through old photos while smoking, supping pints in shell shocked silence fingering well worn letters, trying not to think of how long this might last. They near tearfully compose ex-lover’s rock. In amongst the stripped down and morose indie that nods to a love for Tindersticks, Gene, Vauxhal and I and Belle and Sebastian is the funny and sad (naturally) story of love and loss in North London ‘The Pursued, The Pursuing, The Busy & The Tired’ which is narrated rather than sang and the sombre and almost funereal ‘Untethered’.

But near the end of heartbreak comes hope for the future again, and the album ends on the uplifting ‘NYE’ and the empathetic and accepting ‘You’re Still Everything to Me’. As the F. Scott Fitzgerald quote on the inner sleeve of the album says: “You mustn’t confuse a single failure with a final defeat.”

More information on Kelman here.

If you love our features, news and reviews, please support what we do with a one-off or regular donation. Year-on-year, our corporate advertising is down by around 90% - a figure that threatens to sink The Quietus. Hit this link to find out more and keep on Black Sky Thinking.