R.L. Kelly – Life’s a Bummer (Orchid Tapes, 2014)

via Life’s A Bummer | R.L. Kelly.

“Being alone is nice and depressing.”

R.L. Kelly became a favorite of mine in the Orchid Tapes crop, particularly from her split with Alex G. The first time I heard “Everyday”, I was immediately hooked to the simple yet affecting songwriting. Sure, the chords and lyrics are not flashy or technical, but they communicate sentiments of loneliness, longing, isolation, and pain so well. That’s the strength of this Los Angeles singer-songwriter, the ability she has to make her thoughts and feelings so accessible. It’s what consistently keeps me coming back to her body of work.

Her music is a study of songwriting as catharsis, as a necessary purging of an ever present evil (her Bandcamp tagline communicates this succinctly — “gotta get that sad out”). And there is quite a bit of evil looming over Life’s a Bummer. Whether it’s a negative personality (“You’re Not the Only Monster from Hell”), growing up (“Woke Up Feeling Sad”), or the dangers of your own head (“Familiar Haunt”), Kelly proves there are many ways for suffering to manifest itself in detachment.

Key Tracks: “You’re Not the Only Monster from Hell”, “Familiar Haunt”, “Woke Up Feeling Sad”, “Life’s a Bummer”

Where to Go from Here: Alex G – Rules, Infinity Crush – When We’re Snow, Long Beard – Holy Crow


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