‘Golden Syrup’ by Pa­trick Kelleher and His Cold Dead Hands

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - NEWS - Donal Di­neen

The mu­sic busi­ness is no place for the faint hearted. With its glit­ter­ing ve­neer, it might seem ap­peal­ing from a dis­tance but up close it’s pock­marked with pit­falls.

If there was a direct re­la­tion­ship be­tween tal­ent and suc­cess then Pa­trick Kelleher would be well on his way to rul­ing the world at this point. Of the stars that shine un­der­ground he is per­haps the bright­est of them all. The stan­dard of his work to date has been im­pec­ca­ble. His singing, song­writ­ing and pro­duc­tion in­ge­nu­ity are just a few of the skills in his arse­nal. Other than the suc­cess he richly de­serves, this boy’s got it all

He emerged in 2009 with an au­da­cious de­but, You Look Cold, a highly un­con­ven­tional record. The mark of great­ness, it got bet­ter with ev­ery lis­ten. The many lay­ers of sonic ex­per­i­men­ta­tion that em­bel­lished it were strik­ing. It was a por­tent of great things to come.

Golden Syrup, the fol­low-up, was two years in the making. The oth­er­worldy tone of voice is still in place but pretty much ev­ery­thing else has changed. It’s more ob­vi­ously an ensem­ble ef­fort with His Cold Dead Hands bring­ing added swag­ger and elec­tric­ity to the mix. The at­ten­tion to de­tail in­vites re­peat ex­plo­ration. It’s a rich ta­pes­try of sound. Ev­ery nook and cranny is stuffed with elec­tronic noise. The ex­panded sonic pal­ette af­fords Kelleher the lux­ury of paint­ing more oblique pic­tures lyri­cally. And so the mystery deep­ens. Like all great records, it’s bathed in a dis­tinc­tive light. There’s a recog­nis­able at­mos­phere that links ev­ery track. It’s a dreamy noc­tur­nal jour­ney that skirts the dark­ness on the edge of town.

In an ideal world this record would be lauded. Wish­ful think­ing, I know. All we can do is hope the making of some­thing this good is in some way its own re­ward.

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