artist: Steve Kilbey
label: Red Eye Records
personnel: Steve Kilbey (all instruments except…), Karin Jansonn (keyboard, guitar), Russell Kilbey (fretless bass, something else)
tracklisting: out of this world, guilty, pretty ugly pretty sad, swampdrone, judgement day, rising son, tyrant, transference, my birthday the moon festival, design error, nothing inside, othertime, heliopolis, famine
the creative force behind one of Australia’s most acclaimed groups of all time, The Church, Steve Kilbey’s varied solo career has received surprisingly little attention, perhaps due to his dogged determination to often ‘go it alone’.
‘Unearthed’ was Kilbey’s solo debut, and sees him apply many of the familiar jangly trademarks of The Church to more introspective settings. the heavy use of wispy synthesized strings and ticking rhythm boxes help to give the album a lo-fi quality, adding to the haunting atmosphere of tracks like ‘Design Error’, ‘Tyrant’, ‘My Birthday the Moon Festival and ‘Famine’, but sometimes detracting from the quality of the writing. thankfully, more traditional offerings like ‘Nothing Inside’ help to remind us of just who we’re dealing with here.
a fascinating meeting of shoegazing eighties indie, and atmospheric bedroom synthpop. dig out your copy of ‘Unearthed’ today!