Hello, Good People of the Internet!
Today is Bandcamp Friday - which means that If you buy some of my music today on Bandcamp then I get all of the money - well, Paypal take their pound of flesh as usual but Bandcamp themselves waives all their fees. So, if you were to buy my music, today would be the best day.
My band Camp Page is here: https://tommiekelly.bandcamp.com/
And on it, you can find all my albums and singles released to date. If you click on one of the selections you will also find an option to buy my entire discography for 35% off.
I'll tell you more about some of the music below, but first, here is a quick news section...
VLOG: The April Update & Forty Servants Divinations
Click that image of me holding some Forty Servant's dice, and you can watch me tell you a little bit about the new Forty Servant's stuff coming out over the next while.
Then if you have some free time, I spend the next 40 minutes doing the monthly Forty Servants one card divinations for patrons.
If clicking on the image doesn't work, then you can use this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WcE0QWpLhs
THE NIDANA CARDS
If you follow me on Patreon or hang out over on the AIWW Discord you will probably be aware of the forthcoming oracle deck that myself and Duncan Barford have been working on for the last 18 months or so, called The Nidana Cards.
Well, the good news is that I finally have my hands on a physical version of the finished deck and I am thrilled with it. I have been using it a lot in order to become familiar with it, and I have to say that it feels like a very powerful oracle. It certainly has a different flavour or personality than The Forty Servants - which is great news. It would be pointless if it covered the same ground.
I have some website and promotional image stuff still to complete, but once that is done, and Duncan has a physical deck in his hands too, we will release it into the wild. It should be at the end of this month or early next month, so stay tuned.
In the meantime, if you want to learn more about what the Nidanas are, you can listen to the two-part series Duncan did on them over on his OEITH PODCAST.
PART ONE - PART TWO
I recorded four albums worth of music when I was in my early 20s, and recently, I put them all online. I did some light remastering on them - essentially made the tracks a bit louder in volume to conform with today's standards and did some minor EQ tweaking.
I also recorded an EP in 2012. While that is probably better described as a "Mid-Period", there is no other music from that time to justify doing a separate newsletter about it, so it's included here.
I'll do another Newsletter at some stage regarding my most recent work, such as Ritualis & Arcana, but I'll stagger out the music-heavy newsletters for a while so as not to bore you all with just one section of my art.
Anyway, presenting... The Early Years!
FLAT 3, 10 CHURCH STREET
25 years ago, I recorded my first album worth of songs. I recorded in the kitchen of my flat located above a graveyard in 1998 when I was a young and hopeful 20-year-old, using a Yamaha 8 Track Tape Recorder, an Alesis 3630 compressor, a Zoom Studio 1204 FX unit, some dodgy drum machines, a strat, and an SM58.
I wrote and recorded the music at a tough time in my life. I had moved out of my home house about a year previously as my parents were in the middle of separating, and the mood at home was far from ideal. I also just left the rock band I was in, broke up with the girl I was living with, and generally had my life fall apart in every section.
Let's be honest, it's hardly a classic album by any means, but it marks a significant era of my life, and there are some elements in this that return in a broader and more expansive form in later recordings.
So, the next stop on the musical journey that is my solo albums is 2000's ECLECTIC. We're still using the Yamaha 8 Track for this, but there is now some computer-based sequencing going on - mostly Cakewalk, though some Cubase- and you can really hear the computer's lack of soul on some of these songs. And I obviously decided that recording the vocal tracks all the way into the red was a great idea. Older Tommie is less thrilled with this idea.
I wasn't really looking forward to going back to this one because I always felt, in hindsight, that it was the most directionless album I had done. I just couldn't decide who I wanted to be, and the result, although called "Eclectic" is probably more "Out Of Focus". I was held back and limited by the equipment I had, too, even with the addition of the computer.
I also could have benefited greatly from having a band - I was doing a lot of solo gigs with just an acoustic guitar at the time, and while good for what it was I wasn't getting the feel I wanted and this is very much reflected in this album. It's a singer-songwriter crying out for a band to help define him.
That said, this was the only album that got any sort of actual record company attention. There was an (alleged) A&R guy hanging around a lot at the time, making noises, but nothing ever came from it. Felt exciting at the time, though.
And before anyone asks - Yes, "Women are Evil" is meant as a joke. It actually ended up being sung by a load of pagans at the Glastonbury Goddess Festival that Summer, which was cool. Those 10 days in Glastonbury were very magical, actually. That's when I met Stuart Wilde.
The song "Very Wrong" arrived all in one go. I picked up the guitar one evening and played the entire song from start to finish in pretty much the same form it's recorded here. That doesn't happen often, but it's happened a couple of times. Very weird, Very cool.
Listening now, it's not as bad as I feared. It actually sounds better than I remember, which is a nice surprise.
The song that opens the album, "Better Man" was also on Flat 3, 10 Church Street, and would also make an appearance on 2012's Four Fifty Eight Ep. "'Til She" and "Very Wrong" would be re-recorded for my next album "Post Partying Blues" a year later. "Not Today" also gets a reprise.
And, "All I wanted" and "If The World Came Crumbling Down" are also being re-done for my forthcoming album as there is some unfinished business with them, and they have been haunting me. All the songs on the new album are songs that haunt me, hence the title "Eidolons"
POST PARTYING BLUES
This is the final album from the early years, recorded in 2001, and you can tell I have been doing a lot of gigging as a singer-songwriter - the album is predominantly acoustic guitar-based. The rockier element from previous albums is no longer present.
The album is probably the best-recorded album I did back then. It's still using the Yamaha Eight Track with some computer-based programming, but it's a much stripped-down affair with a lot less kitchen sink than the previous recordings.
I like this album, but, in hindsight, I was trying to fit in with what was happening around me musically and keep in line with the various musicians I was hanging out with - none of whom were into the heavier stuff I was. But that said, I guess it accurately reflects where I was at the time.
This album got "Demo of the Week" in Ireland's famous music magazine "Hotpress", and while I do have a copy of that issue, I seem to have put it "somewhere safe", and thus it has become missing. Ah, well, it may turn up at some stage.
It was during the recording of this album that the original band I was in - Wendimiller - reformed, and that pretty much took up all my music energy for the next few years. There are some recordings of the Wendimiller era, including a semi-live EP that also received "Demo of the Week" in Hotpress, along with an entire album recorded in an actual recording studio called "Audio Head Cleaner".
The song "Rock N' Roll In Rio" was from a jam during a Wendimiller soundcheck from years previous, and for some reason, I felt that it should be on the album even though it's massively out of tone with the rest of the songs.
Four Fifty Eight
This was recorded in December 2012 but not released until January 2013. I felt this would probably be the last piece of music I recorded. There was a sense at the time that this marked some form of ending phase - that I had now said all I wanted to say with music. I thought that this was probably as good a collection of songs as I could ever manage to do. I am still immensely proud of it.
It was recorded using Ableton Live 7, if my memory serves me correctly, along with a Line6 KB37, and I think the production value is the best I have done - possibly the best even still. I was listening to a lot of LCD Soundsystem at the time, and it really shows.
I have two sad memories that go with this EP, though. The first was when I played the EP for the first time to someone, and they immediately picked up their phone about 10 seconds into the first song and started talking over the rest of it. That was entirely crushing.
The second memory is a few days later when I played it to a good friend who essentially said it was shit and that I should just sing and play the acoustic guitar instead of all that "dance bullshit".
I guess the song correctly foretold that "despite of what I bring, this is probably not your thing".
I did manage to get at least one lovely review of it, which was nice. https://musicandeverything.wordpress.com/2013/01/29/music-review-tommie-kelly-four-fifty-eight-ep/
And that's it for another AIWW Newsletter, I hope you got something from it. If you'd like to chat about you can hit reply to this email or come find me over on Discord.
If you would like to support me in doing all the things I do, then feel free to join the PATREON, Buy me a BOOK, Buy a PRINT, Buy a FORTY SERVANTS deck, or just send me some money via PAYPAL.
So, until next time,
MAY YOUR BEST DAYS BE AHEAD!
County Louth, Ireland.