Leyland Kirby - Sadly, The Future Is No Longer What It Was - Series
When We Parted My Heart Wanted To Die (Pt. 1)
Sadly The Future Is No Longer What It Was (Pt. 2)
Memories Live Longer Than Dreams (Pt. 3)
(History Always Favours The Winners)
Hey you! Pay attention! Listen up 'cos Mr. Lee is weighing in...
I thought some clarification was needed on the subject of Leyland Kirby, The Caretaker, The Stranger et al. What you NEED to know is that these alias's are all responsible for VERY DIFFERENT sound projects. Each project is very different from the next. In my humble opinion the two most IMPORTANT projects are a) the haunted, 'Shining'-ballroom music manipulation of The Caretaker and, b) the piano-based absolute-melancholia of Leyland Kirby. Both projects currently have career-defining releases on offer: the ongoing 6 album series of Alzheimer-induced Everywhere At The End Of Time (The Caretaker) and the 3 double-album reissue series of Sadly, The Future Is No Longer What It Was (Leyland Kirby). BOTH of these series of albums are ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL! Copies will not last long. You have been warned. Buy or die.
Like his other work as The Caretaker, V/Vm and The Stranger, Sadly...is a rich body of work dedicated to feelings of loss, isolation, melancholy and alienation. But unlike his work as The Caretaker, Kirby is composing the music here; favoring massive piano and synth chords that breathe into full bloom under a wash of spacious reverb and layered overtones.
Initially planned as a single album, Kirby dove headlong into his internal ponderings searching for meaning and definition in a world just becoming immersed with social networks and voyeurism. Where was the mystery in life? It’s no wonder he would be able to expand this album to a triple volume set each comprised of 2LPs. Sadly, The Future Is No Longer What It Was is a massive work of intense emotion and haunted textures. Though it is 6 total LPs in length (right now, we’re stocking the first 4), Kirby’s extensive work is best absorbed in pieces. The tracks move from deliberately stark piano meanderings, (“We All Won That Day, Sunshine”), to languid optimism (“And At Dawn Armed With Glowing Patience We Will Enter The Cities Of Glory (Stripped)”) and chilly, barren hauntological nightmares, (“Tonight Is The Last Night Of The World.”). One of Kirby’s strengths is dynamics and atmosphere and in that way, Sadly is essentially a masterclass. Witness the beauty and space of the sublime “Don't Sleep I Am Not What I Seem, I'm A Very Quiet Storm.” The Satie-inspired lushness of opening cut “When We Parted, My Heart Wanted To Die.” Or the instrumental decay of the Basinski-like “When Did Our Dreams And Futures Drift So Far Apart?” And, as you might guess, Eno looms large on the entirety of Sadly, evident on “The Beauty Of The Impending Tragedy Of My Existence” in which pianos, synths and digital noise blur together for a swath of dystopian drone.
Clearly the song titles speak to some of what Leyland Kirby is experiencing, and the music typically follows suit. This is a heavy listen. Heavy in its emotion, its sounds and its length. And while you might be tempted to grab 1 of these volumes and leave it at that, you’d only be getting a piece of the story. That’d be like watching only ⅓ of a TV series. It all needs to be heard but you should do so patiently. Only 400 of each pressed. (Dom & Lee)
Check out tracks here, here and here.