about%20-%20jpg.jpg reviews%20-%20jpg.jpg interviews%20-%20jpg.jpg gigs%20-%20jpg.jpg cd_review_alienenvoy_ninelives001006.jpg
For those not in the know, Alien Envoy is the pseudonym for ex-The Fat Lady Sings vocalist Nick Kelly, and the tale behind how this album was created and the music thereon is an intriguing one. While not a conceptual piece per se, the actual process as to how the release came to be pertains to a rather interesting concept in itself. The Alien Envoy moniker dates back to 2007 when Kelly released three songs to radio 'anonymously' before press and the listening audience recognised the distinctive tones of his voice, realising who the man was behind the music and Alien Envoy name. Fast forward to 2009 and Kelly commenced a project he labelled as 'Gestation', so called because it was a planned nine month venture whereby he'd perform new songs in the intimate confines of Whelans in Dublin on the last Wednesday of each month for nine months. Kelly was accompanied at each show by an array of musicians, with each collaborator offering something new to each of his compositions, and highlights from each performance were made available online for his fans to offer their own critiques. The culmination of these 'experiments' on Wednesday May 26th 2010 saw Kelly perform for the ninth and final time to conclude his 'Gestation' period whereby most collaborators from the previous nine months returned to the stage with the Irish vocalist. Every attendee of said show was given a copy of 'Nine Lives', a set of live recordings made over the course of the 'Gestation' project and, apparently, Kelly was so taken with these recordings that he opted to officially release them in this guise rather than the former plan of recording each song in the studio. So, like I said, an intriguing tale and interesting musical experiment that has indubitably paid off, for the quality of the music on 'Nine Lives' is rather stunning. While the songs are kind of diverse in their presentation with a multitude of instruments embellishing each of the compositions from semi-acoustic guitars, strings, drums, bass, keyboards and the album's sole all-out rock number '45' featuring heavy, distorted guitar, the music is underpinned by a prominent folk aesthetic and a genuine organic feeling. One can really sense the songs were born naturally from the collaborative journey upon which Kelly embarked. Such artists as ex-Beautiful South vocalist Briana Corrigan, singer/songwriter Boo Hewerdine, and rising Irish star Ann Scott to name but a few have helped make Kelly's vision and aims for this experiment come to fruition, the results of which are now available for all to check out. And if you like pure, organic songwriting with a discernible folk-vibe then I recommend you do, for you won't be disappointed.
Self Possessed Records
Review by Mark Holmes
8th Nov 2010
1) Donnybrook
2) Everything's Wrong
3) Anaesthetic
4) Untidy
5) 45
6) Arthur Ashe
7) Kingfisher Blue
8) Christmas in the City
9) Infrastructure
"While not a conceptual piece per se, the actual process as to how the release came to be pertains to a rather interesting concept in itself."