You Look Cold
, August 5th, 2009 11:04
From the blemish that appeared on your face the day before your graduation photo was taken, to the moment your tongue tripped over the final dedication in the last speech you gave, it will always be the imperfections that stay with you the longest. Just so with Patrick Kelleher, whose self-produced, home-recorded debut album, You Look Cold is stitched with woolly reverb, the odd keyboard clanger and rhythms slipping just beyond the beat.
The 24-year-old Dubliner is a sometime, geographically-monikered member of Irish ambience outfit Children Under Hoof, in which he performs as Alluvial Deposits. It's a fairly appropriate pseudonym for an artist who picks up and utilises anything that falls within his grasp during song construction. Through the eyes of Kelleher, a Nutella jar becomes a bell, a door becomes the drum and djembes and bouzoukis become pronounceable, standard instrumental fare.
The resulting cacophony rattles with invented genre and innovated sounds, from the doo-wop blues of 'Until I Get Paid', which sounds like it was sung down a dodgy phone-line from a bathroom, to the demo-ticker drums and Casio sirens of the 80s cop chaser 'He Has To Sleep Sometime'. Kelleher's influences betray lo-fi obsessions that heavily inform his work, from Sonic Youth's early distraction and distortion ('Blue Eyes') to the Paul Simon ditty of 'I Am Eustace'. But for all the fuzz, there's an Irish lilt to Kelleher's voice that, despite his songs' instrumental ominousness, renders his undoctored vocal almost twee.
Moreover, it's the audibly painstaking Lego-block process that Kelleher endured to create You Look Cold that resounds on repeated listens — even if the first run might belie it to be a bit of a dirge. In fact, save for the Moldy Peaches-inspired secret track 'Boy Named Suzy Q', Kelleher's debut is a bit dirge-like. But for all its dark and dirty assembly, and despite the bleak title, You Look Cold introduces a true craftsman, and an artist still in early awe of the many musical tools and techniques at his disposal.