Kilbey Kennedy – Glow and Fade
Release Date: May 26th, 2017
Label: Golden Robot Records
Australian rockers Steve Kilbey and Martin Kennedy join forces to release their fifth studio album Glow and Fade. This provides a whole new look at the rock genre, including atmospheric synthesizers, a strong bassline, relaxing vocal lines and a strong drum pulse. Each song provides a new atmospheric feel to the genre and whilst technically not a concept album the celestial feel of it is almost enough to warrant the title.
The album opens with the title track Glow and Fade, which eases the listener into the record. With soft synth strings and a progressive bass and drum beat, this is the ultimate chill, rock track. Each time the bass is played it rings out strong enough to cause the entire room to reverberate, and mixed in with the soft vocals these make a perfect combination. The track sounds like a dream which drags the listener through space and multiple galaxies, it is a perfect opening track. Track 2 The Game Never Changes, opens with a fuzzy spoken word which sounds like it’s ringing out across a forgotten land; following on from this the guitar chords then begin to fill in along with the bassline. Although more typical of the rock genre this song still holds the atmospheric, celestial theme of the rest of the album, using effects on the vocals, allowing them to echo out. Underneath the main vocals, a female voice imitates the very same words adding a new feel to the song. This is their longest song on the album, playing for a whole 16 minutes; the sections are split up with a futuristic and artificial sound which spans out across the whole record making it so unique and worth listening to. This is perhaps my personal favourite off of the album.
They Know opens with an arpeggio-like accompaniment which is different from the songs prior to this. It brings the mood back into the chill state of mind and is a song you could easily listen to whilst going to sleep. A mellow horn line comes in towards the end of the song which is a really nice touch as it emphasizes the calmness of this track compared to some of the other ones which have much thicker timbres. We Are Still Waiting brings us back into the more upbeat feel of the album, opening with a strong bass line and vocals which just blend effortlessly with it. The drums then pick up in the chorus whose lyrics are easily catchy and the female voice once more sings under the main vocal line. She then features as a solo on the second verse of the track, it adds a nice variation as her voice blends easily also. The chilled out rock genre song is proof that ‘rock’ has such a wide meaning and that you can’t keep it narrowed down to a certain type of music.
The Law of the Jungle contains a similar sort of ambience to the other tracks off of the record, as well as the use of the female vocals underneath the main vocal line. However, the guitar line in the middle of the piece and the drum technique keep it different enough for it not to sound the same as any of the other tracks. Although, if I had to criticise one thing on this album, it would be that the songs do sound similar in their own ways. The final track on the record One Is All is mainly an ambient experience with some soft vocals coming into show in certain areas, it’s effective and makes the song a perfect conclusion to this celestial record. The track builds as it goes on with a string line coming in underneath the synthesizers. It ties the whole record up in a nice little bow as it is a calming and dreamlike listening experience and one of my favourite songs off of the record.
Overall Glow and Fade is a wonderful and dreamlike listening experience which shows the whole spectrum of the alt/rock genre. With strong basslines, definitive drum beats and soft vocals this album has everything that it needs. A downside to this chill and ambient side of things is that certain songs have the tendency to sound rather similar, however, if looking for a way to chill or just vary music tastes, this album is perfect.
Recommended Track: We are Still Waiting
Stream Glow and Fade here.