November 6, 2014

Split: R.L. Kelly / Spencer Radcliffe

Find comfort in R.L. Kelly and Spencer Radcliffe's Brown Horse split.

Some days it creeps up on you, while others just seem destined for sadness. You retreat to your room for a soothing sob and let the world know your pain by turning up the Elliott Smith or Modest Mouse. Brown House, R.L. Kelly aka Rachel Levy's new split tape with Chicago-based artist Spencer Radcliffe, comforts in the same way as these rough day staples.

Reminiscent of Orchid Tapes compatriot Alex G, who contributes instrumentals to the album, R.L. Kelly plays sparse bedroom folk with an acoustic guitar and a Minnie Mouse-esque whisper. She previously melted our hearts with last year's Life's a Bummer, and her side of Brown Horse follows suit. “I Cannot” sheds vulnerability, while “Wake Up” is a sticky note reminder to stay strong. The outlier among Kelly's six tracks is “Teen Porn”. In a better world, this unexpected synth jam would be an instrumental beat for a troupe of lady MCs.

The good part about bad days is that they can help us realize the insignificance of our problems, allowing us to set them free. As R.L. Kelly sings on the album closer, remember that no matter how big or small the trouble, the great big world will keep on spinning.


Listen to Brown Horse on bandcamp.

Alanna Yaraskavitch, a 2nd year journalism student at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. When not photocopying the latest issue of her perzine, Alanna also writes about music for Weird Canada and Razorcake. Give her a holler on Tumblr or Twitter.