June 28, 2005

Hedaya "This Is Where I Keep It"

Hedaya is the one-man project of Simon Kean, an Australian native currently residing in England. He works alone at home, by himself. Lots of people do that sort of thing, it is true, but Kean's onto something. This is Where I Keep It is Hedaya's second album, and it's dark--very dark. Kean mixes the bleakness of Xiu Xiu and Nine inch Nails with the minimalism of Arab Strap and the atmospherics of 4AD, but in so doing, he's created a style that's uniquely his own. Keen understands that scary, disturbing music need not be loud and in-your-face; he also understands that sad music need not be quiet and passive, either. Happy music, this ain't.

Instead, he's tempered bleak, hopeless and sometimes downright violent lyrics to music that's soft, sensual and, at times, quite erotic. Subverting the idea of romance, or simply making sex music for a detatched, desensitized generation? It's your call. When you read words like "I promise you those bruises won't show in the morning/Baby, I had to" (from "My Beautiful Blue") and "Give me your misery, eating your soul away/Feeding your apathy, emotionally drained /Devoid of all empathy/Life you want saved/Leaving all analogies, excuse for the vain (from "Leaving All Analogies") they instantly kill any vestigaes of eroticism. Yet on the other hand, Hedaya's music is so pulsating, so sensual, it instantly deflates Kean's melancholy writing.

This Is Where I Keep It is an instant jaw-dropper of a record. It's a record that demands your attention, and once it has you captivated, it will show you things you didn't wish to know. It is an enthralling listen that will leave you returning to it again. It will expose you to a side of the human condition that's best left to the good people in the psychological health field. It will equally arouse your senses and repulse your decency. It is, of course, quite brilliant. (It's also available free for download at the Hedaya website, a most generous offer for a record so utterly compelling and terribly genius.)

--Joseph Kyle

Artist Website: http://www.cleverbedsit.com

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