Apr 2024 30

Album CoverChris Connelly
Album: The Lives and Loves of the Serial Homesick, Volume 1
Category: Alternative / Post-Punk / Folk
Label: Self-released
Release Date: 2024-04-01
Author: Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)


 

Reconnecting with one’s roots can sometimes be a bittersweet affair, and it was seemingly so for Chris Connelly when his mother’s passing brought him back to Edinburgh, Scotland in 2023. With this as the backdrop to the first volume of The Lives and Loves of the Serial Homesick, listeners can expect to hear the singer/songwriter at his most nostalgic as he confronts the unresolved aspirations of his youth in his usual poetic and painterly style. As ever, his dissonant yet harmonious chord structures and arrangements remain a highlight of his music, his voice crooning in his signature brogue to recount tales of old; songs like “Swords at St. Peter’s” and “Port of St. Catharine” see him submerged in a palpably melancholic yearning as he sings “I should have stayed here instead” and “I remember when I could’ve lived here on the sand and taste Atlantic on my stinging lips.” All the while, the instrumentation centers on his acoustic strumming, with keyboard, harmonica, electric guitar, and even saxophone accompaniments adding a ghostly ambience that punctuates the lyrics, especially on songs like “Odeon” and “Lost to Your Armour.” Longtime fans will delight in the slightly jaunty and rather catchy “Fini Chagall,” the harmony vocals characteristically a half-step behind the rhythm, but eventually catching up to coalesce brilliantly, while the airy and shrill keyboards on “The Scars” imbue a sense of majesty as Connelly laments “This wretched house was built for strength to die in,” “You wrote the story and you ruined the ending,” and “A restless night is like a month at war.” Closing the album out is “Midnight on the Swansway” with a wonderfully subtle rhythm section of light percussion and bass; and just when you think it’s over, the electric guitar picks up with a bopping old school pub rock vibe, Connelly’s echo-drenched voice barely decipherable and trailing off as the song fades out, as if being kicked off the stage for playing over his allotted timeslot. It’s a perfect capper that hints at more memories half-remembered in dreams and strolls through childhood avenues to come in the next volume. Complete with pencil and charcoal drawings in the cover, The Lives and Loves of the Serial Homesick is a work of potent vulnerability from an artist already known for the directness of his thoughts and emotions – often cryptic, yet entirely relatable.
 
Track list:

  1. So Long, Ariane
  2. Swords at St. Peter’s
  3. Lost to Your Amour
  4. Odeon
  5. The Scars
  6. Fini Chagall
  7. Port of St. Catharine
  8. Midnight on the Swansway

 
Chris Connelly
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