Eugene Kelly | GEOG17 | Released: 06/07/03
Geographic is very proud to announce four new songs from Eugene Kelly, a landmark release from the charismatic sometime stranger, being both the first music in his own name, and the first opportunity for 21st century people to roll up at a record shop, and say the hopeful words: "I'll have the new Eugene ep, please." The music they're about to find is closer to the innocent sound of The Vaselines than most of his 1990s output, albeit richly coloured by a reflective neo-folky quality, which for some may recall the optimistic sadness of Neil Young's On The Beach or Big Star's Third, and even some of the earlier Johnny Cash Columbia sides. But this music is more importantly confirmation that Eugene is now making his most personal and best music in over a decade. Check out the gorgeous slurred sound of it all, from "Older Faster" (the highlight of his recent triumphant shows with Teenage Fanclub), through "The Healing Power Of Firewalking" (inspired by his participation in The Last Great Wilderness), to the freefalling acoustic charms of "Something Wrong" and "Blessed And Misplaced", which show that Eugene is always about "the song". Kurt Cobain liked his songs so much he recorded three of them ("Molly's Lips", "Son Of A Gun" and "Jesus Doesn't Want me For A Sunbeam") for the legendary Nirvana Unplugged In New York set. Eugene has also written with Evan Dando, and with Norman Blake from Teenage Fanclub. He was a founder member of the incredible Scottish avant-folk pop group The Vaselines, whose original records, if you can find them, go for insane prices to Japanese and American collectors. The story of The Vaselines is of course that they only found their true audience after they'd split, when groups like Beat Happening, Mudhoney, Sonic Youth and Nirvana started citing them; maybe in the future some other hipsters will dig up nuggets from Eugene's subsequent groups, Captain America and Eugenius. But at the moment the main thing is not to let these beautiful new songs pass you by. Eugene, who lives in Glasgow, has also completed a new album, Man Alive.