Wednesday, April 17, 2013

R.L. Kelly-Life's a Bummer EP

Listening to R.L. Kelly’s (aka Rachel Levi) debut EP, you realize how uncommon lyrical honesty and directness is in modern indie music. Bands hide everything under extensive metaphors or hope the tone in the song accurately grasps the mood that they are aiming for. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, but I think that standard is what makes R.L. Kelly’s music hit the way it does. Over six quiet, deeply intimate songs, with little more than a guitar, a keyboard, a drum machine, and the occasional distortion pedal, Levi creates these wonderful capsules of depression and self-loathing.

“You’re Not the Only Monster from Hell”, the EP’s most complete track especially once the distorted keyboard kicks in for the chorus, sets the tone perfectly as well as demonstrating to create incredible hooks out of seemingly nothing. The EP spirals down even further, from the less than two minute heartbreak of “Familiar Haunt” to the almost anti-Yohuna like sparseness of “Woke Up Feeling Sad”. By the time you reach the title track, Levi goes straight for her own jugular, and just paints just a sad picture of the culmination of apathy and self-anguishes. And yet, Life’s a Bummer never overwhelms the listener with the emotions it wears proudly on its sleeve. Levi has just the knack for making the tracks heartening and emotional rather than mopey, much like Casiotone for the Painfully Alone before her or her buddy Coma Cinema. Life's a Bummer is one of those perfect little indie gems that hits right in the little pocket where my soul lies.


R.L. Kelly's Bandcamp
Buy/download Life's a Bummer here, from Orchid Tapes

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