If I could pin the tail on a piece of music to represent my year so far, it'd be R.L. Kelly's debut, Life's a Bummer. Released in February and lodged in my brain since then, it's been around both as a record to replay and as a record to find other quietly decimating records—ones put out by Orchid Tapes, who did an R.L. Kelly cassette, or affiliated with its producer Foxes in Fiction, or most importantly, by Alex G, whose "Change" Kelly covered as the second track. Well, shit. Now I feel like the best thing you can do online is to download Alex G's 60+ songs on Bandcamp. From somewhere in Philadelphia, this guy who I think is still in college is channeling and redirecting the bleak best of Elliott Smith, Woods, Carissa's Wierd, and just like, basements. In the completion of some cosmic circle, he and R.L. Kelly now split a 7-inch, out tomorrow via Birdtapes. Stream it below in its entirety—every song is a 10, two incredibly affecting artists at the top of their game, or anybody's game, hushedly launching sad songs into the stratosphere.
Stream: Alex G and R.L. Kelly's Split 7-inch
R.L. Kelly on Alex G:
Alex G is honestly one of the most talented songwriters of our generation. He's one of my musical heroes, making new tunes and keeping things beautifully strange, always pulling you in for more. The first time I saw him and the band play was at the Orchid Tapes showcase this year and it was one of the best moments of my life. Singing my favorite songs with my favorite people—damn, life rules sometimes.