I’ve been the main songwriter in bands for over twenty years. Once you’re in a band and establish a foundation you might have some songs that start to emerge that don’t work for whatever reason with the band’s sound. I’m willing to bet this is the case for most songwriters. It was for Rich Kelleway aka Low Clouds who was a guitarist in a band called Sennen. Those songs and ideas were more aligned with subtle dynamics and acoustic guitars. The result of these ideas are A Quiet Life.
Some obvious comparisons to the aesthetics would include Grandaddy, Elliott Smith and Death Cab for Cutie. Kelleway's songwriting and delivery is exceptional and plays into the aesthetics which made this release such a treat to listen to. I was more than impressed that this was a DIY project. I’d say it’s a little short of what I would expect from a pro studio but I might be cutting hairs.
The album opens with “For All I Know (Part 1)” which revolves around a pretty picking pattern and Kelleway’s hushed intimate vocals. As the song progresses it gains layers of instrumentation which enhance the emotional residue which is contemplative and reflective.
“Raining Cats And Dogs” gains some traction. The song is upbeat yet melancholy, extremely catchy but still maintains the subdued qualities that are a winning combination. He has more success with the title which is ridiculously catchy.
“Birds” brings the upbeat happiness down a notch and perhaps brings a cerebral, meditative quality instead. The album continues to showcase exceptionally crafted songs with “A Mark Upon My Arm,” “Hey Man” and “So Long.” I can’t say there was a single dud in the batch. He closes where he began with “For All I Know (Part 2).”
Kelleway is an example of what can be accomplished in a DIY bedroom room setting with minimal gear and a boatload of talent. The album is one I will revisit and he can rest assured he has at least one new fan but have a feeling he will have more after you hear it for yourself. Highly recommended.
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