Last Living Cannibal, the moniker for Hastings based songwriter Allister Kellaway, likes to probe at the weird nuances of the human psyche. His new EP, On A Perfect Earth, finds him attempting to make sense of his most irrational thoughts and in doing so he has created six disparate tracks that roam as much as his mind. There is a gauzy psychedelia that ripples through the EP, occasionally disrupted by a crashing wave of emotion. The music is at times complex and disruptive, and it is at these moments it is also at its most enthralling. Below Kellaway talks us through his sound and vision picks, and provides a window into his own world, that is just as weird as everyone else’s.
Three favourite albums:
Frank Sinatra – In The Wee Small Hours
In The Wee Small Hours is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard. It’s a moody, pensive record full of longing and tenderness. Every arrangement is so perfectly crafted, and Frank’s voice holds it all together so well. You get these great moments where the words and music interact. In Deep In A Dream you can really hear this, Frank sings about watching the smoke from his cigarette rise, and all through the song are these ascending flutes and clarinets. It’s the best thing to listen to when you’re outside completely alone, nobody around, no thoughts.
Surface To Air Missive – AV
Surface To Air Missive are one of the most underrated bands around. I’ve been pretty obsessed with them since they started out. This is my favourite album by them, but pretty much every one of their records is amazing. AV is the more experimental pick of the bunch. It’s almost entirely recorded with nylon string guitars and recorders, with these gorgeous, intricate and sometimes dissonant songs. It goes in all these different directions and it’s a real journey. On Please No More, there are constant tempo and key changes, building up to this jangly rock song. It’s a crazy song but so beautiful.
Perfume Genius – Set My Heart On Fire Immediately
I love Perfume Genius. He’s an incredible performer with this really unique personality that permeates through all his work. When I first heard Set My Heart On Fire Immediately I kept it on repeat for hours. It’s quite a bold record, with a really satisfying flow to it, going from harsh fuzzy rock on Describe to Orchestral pop on Jason. I’m in tears every time I hear Leave. It’s such a heart wrenching song, with all these swirling violins, harps and voices running through it. They’re just brilliant songs at the end of the day with this great production by Blake Mills.
Apocalypse Now – Francis Ford Coppola
Apocalypse Now is more of a psychedelic art house flick than a war movie. The opening sequence proves that. The silent napalm explosion in the jungle with Jim Morrison singing “This Is The End” over the top. I suppose that was the intention. Francis Ford Coppola was trying to show the insanity at the heart of the Vietnam war. At every stop along the river to Cambodia are increasingly desperate people sucked into the madness of it all. It made them murderers and victims all at once. I’m not really sure why it’s my favourite really, I think it’s the scale of it, the sets, the story, the characters, the soundtrack, it all comes together to create this masterpiece.
Richard Ben Kramer – What It Takes
I’m really into no-nfiction, especially journalism or a bit of history. What It Takes is all of that. It follows the lives and political careers of six presidential candidates during the 1988 primaries. I’ve probably bored you to death at this point but I’m fascinated by this kind of thing. That’s exactly why the author set out to write What It Takes. He wanted to know, how does someone end up thinking “I will be President”? What’s more is it’s so well written, a bit like reading Catch 22, it has that same jittery craziness at the heart of it.
A song that means a lot to you
The Roches – Hammond Song
I can’t get enough of Hammond Song, the overlapping harmonies, the wailing guitar, that incredible transition into the final verse. Iit kills me every time. There’s something about the lyrics that really gets to me, it’s more about the sentiment than anything. It all melts away with the line near the end: “Tell me I’m okay” and then I’m gone, completely disarmed. Hammond Song starts out as this defiant word of disapproval, trying to persuade by dressing down the song’s subject. But it ends as a desperate plea for them not to go.
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