Steve Kilbey & Martin Kennedy follow up their acclaimed album Jupiter 13 with the epic ‘The Strange Life of Persephone Nimbus’, a sprawling Pink Floyd-ish concept album that shimmers with darkly beautiful musical undercurrents, oblique lyrics and spooky spoken word pieces. It is the second chapter of an eventual trilogy.
The album was recorded in Tasmania overlooking the ocean, peaceful and crystal calm one day, dark and stormy the next, a dynamic that inevitably worked its way into the music and lyrics.
Returning to the mixing desk is Simon Polinski (Paul Kelly, The Church, David Bridie, Stephen Cummings, Underground Lovers) who skilfully brings the story of Persephone Nimbus to life.
Steve Kilbey writes: ‘Persephone Nimbus was just an ordinary woman living an ordinary life, with a promising job at Eternity Incorporated. Until one day she was kidnapped by the Plutocracy.
There she reigned for 6 months of the year, a sad cold queen of the dark webbed world. But for 6 months of the year she was allowed to ascend to the Overworld with its marvellous technological illusions, and it’s towers that pierced the very sky. But on the first day of every autumn she must take the long staircase back down, down into the Plutocracy, with their frozen lakes and above them, a sky of iron.’
In 1981 a teenage Martin Kennedy stumbled upon Steve Kilbey and The Church at Tanelorn, an oddball old world meets new world music festival, and fell in love with their look and sound. He recorded their set on a walkman, and the songs helped spark the beginning of his music career. Just a year before, an equally fresh-faced Steve Kilbey formed The Church in Sydney, the very beginning of their public life as accidental hit makers.
Forty one years later Martin and Steve find themselves working together on their sixth studio album, the epic The Strange Life of Persephone Nimbus. As ever with these two, the deal is simple: Martin writes the music and Steve writes the words. No argument, no egos, just a matter of pressing the record button. The results are an effective balancing of Kennedy’s haunting and melodic tunes with Kilbey’s mysterious, witty and intelligent lyrics, melded together by his heavenly voice. Martin keeps his teenage love of The Church out of the equation in fear of it skewing his songwriting but it’s there if you listen closely.
“Sumptuous meeting of Australian soundscaper and the head Churchman…Apart from having a voice of characterful cool poise and an imaginative lyrical lexicon, Kilbey can make a strong melodic song out of simple elements.” (MOJO)
“Occasionally side projects can be something really spectacular. This isn’t an album where you pick favorite songs – you simply immerse yourself in the whole lush experience. The good news is they’re recording a follow up” (Reverb magazine 4.5/5).
OUT NOW – on Foghorn/MGM CD and Digital
Vinyl LP to come early 2023
Connect with Steve Kilbey: