The Kays Lavelle – Be Still This Gentle Morning
Later post this week, which hopefully doesn’t sound too rushed, but such foreign concepts as ‘life’ and ‘work’ have taken over a bit of late.
I’d said in my bio that I wasn’t going to be doing an awful lot on ‘local’ bands as there are already plenty of better read (and let’s face it, just generally better) blogs doing it already, written by people embedded in the scene. I’m not, and the need to be choosy about when I go out and the bands I see, surely means that I never will be.
That’s not to say I plan to ignore it completely of course. Every so often a band comes along that few others have heard of that really makes me happy and at the minute it’s The Kays Lavelle.
You can take ‘that few others have heard of’ several ways of course. Fellow bloggers and many of my Twitter pals (including the band themselves!) are blatantly all over them like a rash, but if you don’t live in Scotland, chances are the name will mean little if anything.
Overall, they’re a six piece and this album was recorded over the space of a couple of years, involving, among others, Neil Pennycook of the excellent Meursault. Despite the lengthy and disparate recording process it comes together seamlessly.
As for what they do… well, from start to finish Be Still This Gentle Morning is a rollercoaster of heart-wrenching emotion.
They create the kind of music that a number of enormous stadium munching mega-acts THINK they’re making, just without the intimacy, honesty, charisma, quality songwriting, etc.
Recent single The Hours is a thing of absolute beauty and 8am is a brief piano lament that could easily bring a tear to a glass eye.
The track I’d pick out would have to be Thinking of Strangers though. It’s slightly rougher (as in a bit rockier) sounding than most of the other tracks and a bit thumping percussion always goes down well in my book. The harmonies too, lend it joyful aura, although I rather doubt the song’s optimistic-sounding lyrics come without caveats.
It’s a fantastic listen – not one for the metalheads out there but if you enjoy your songs turned the ‘heartbreak’ setting then this one’s for you.
You can buy the album here for hardly any British pennies. Avalanche in Edinburgh stock it too and I believe it’s also now available on iTunes. If you’re reading this and have already heard of them, chances are you’ll have it already, but if not I can personally guarantee that you won’t regret a purchase!