The Stranger: Watching Dead Empires In Decay (Modern Love, October 2013)

I guess that I was expecting James Leyland Kirby’s latest moniker to be doing something akin to the crackly nostalgia of his work as Leyland Kirby or The Caretaker. The links are there, but The Stranger is something altogether starker and more abstract, and it’s taken me a while to get my head around it. The dominant sounds are echoey clanks and groans. It feels a bit like we’ve left The Caretaker’s haunted ballroom and now we’re exploring the engine room of a beached and abandoned ocean liner, oil dripping from pipes and the giant hull sighing against the rocks. When there are rhythms, it’s the sound of a distant engineer absent-mindedly tapping with a spanner. Where there are melodies, as on the spooky closing track About To Enter A Strange New Period, they are odd affairs, as if a depressed pan-piper is wandering lost around the dank gangways. I’m intrigued and impressed by this record, but somehow I find it hard to completely love.

I bought this from Boomkat. They call it Electronic.

Your turn! What do you think?