Patrick Kelleher & His Cold Dead Hands
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Patrick Kelleher & His Cold Dead Hands

Dublin, Leinster, Ireland | INDIE

Dublin, Leinster, Ireland | INDIE
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Tomorrow night's show will feature a couple of tracks from Patrick Kelleher's new album Golden Syrup. The album's just out on Osaka Records and follows last year's You Look Colder remix album, that was in turn a reworking of Kelleher's 2009 debut album, You Look Cold. As much as I enjoy his debut and indeed the remix record, Golden Syrup is the first recording to truly capture the sound that Patrick and His Cold Dark Hands create on stage - that sound is dark, moody, gothic synth-driven tunes, effects-laden vocals, driving bass, and some brilliant wigged-out guitar playing all crashing together to create 10 blissful pop songs.

Osaka describe the record as, "moving on from the previous more DIY/lo-fi sound we now find them embracing a more gothic, minimal synth sound. Reminiscent of lesser known early 80s electronics pioneers such as Robert Rental and John Foxx." Golden Syrup is definately a huge step up from You Look Cold. The last time I saw the band play was supporting Future Islands and it was obvious from the tunes played that night that the next record was going to be one dark beast and indeed last year's Skinny Wolves, Contact Sports 7'' also hinted at where the band were taking their sound. When Patrick came up to the radio station to chat about the remix album he played records by Holgar Czukay, Ariel Pink, Harmonia and Echo & the Bunnymen on the show and Golden Syrup is akin to throwing all of those different sounding artists into a blender and liquidising. It's a collection of really strong songs that have been brilliantly recorded. Broken Up Now and Seen Me Blue, two of the slower tracks on the record, are two of the best songs I've heard all year. - Songs to learn and sing blog

The critically-acclaimed Irish electro-monger’s second album Golden Syrup is out now on Osaka Records. For more information, please visit - Rockersucker blog - USA

Patrick Kelleher & His Cold Dead Hands‘ second album was never going to be exactly the same sound as his debut You Look Cold. Where that album traded on the sounds of leftfield electronica, experimental and ambient music, Golden Syrup moves between the shadows and sub-genres of electronica and ambient music into deeper territory.

Golden Syrup is more nuanced than its predecessor taking in gothic noir electronica, spectral pop, woozy ’80s synthesizers, “whacked-out ghost disco”, “kraut-disco” and Italo-influenced numbers.

Patrick Kelleher’s voice is much more versatile too. From the Ian Curtis-esque croon of ‘Seen Me Blue’ to the rather sweet and gentle tones of ‘Broken Up Now,’ he exudes a confidence which was always lurking in the music but it now sure of itself. John Maus is a good comparison in that regard. Golden Syrup is also more of a band record, so it’s harder to define overall with its mesh of styles and sounds. Give it lots of spins. - Nialler 9 blog

Patrick Kelleher’s 2009 debut You Look Cold may have been a universally-acclaimed release, but it was clear from the restless, experimental nature of the album that the Dublin-based musician would be unlikely to repeat himself second time around. Last year’s ‘Contact Sports’ 7? on Skinny Wolves gave a clear indication of where he was taking things, sleeker than what came before, it nonetheless retained an unmistakeable edge: weird, murky and spooked-sounding, the song (included here) wore its ’80s synth influences on its sleeve but sounded utterly fresh and forward-looking at the same time. The accompanying promo video, meanwhile, was one of the most perfect examples of the form in recent memory, nailing – and enhancing – the track’s haunted-underground-disco vibe.

A similar aesthetic prevails on Golden Syrup, although it’s enticingly mixed with Kelleher’s more conventional pop/crooner tendencies (signposted by his recent cover of Niamh Kavanagh’s Eurovision hit ‘In Your Eyes’). The effect is jarring but compelling; at once familiar and strange. There’s a more propulsive quality to the music here compared to his first album, due in part to the more prominent role of backing band His Cold Dead Hands (some of whom are fellow members of experimental collective Children Under Hoof). The vortex-like atmospherics, pulsing bass and out-of-place guitar solo of opening track ‘Miracle Candle’ don’t so much reel you in to the album as drag you under. On the gothic synth-pop of the title track and ‘Seen Me Blue’, vocals are manipulated or draped in reverb, periodically switching from austere baritone to falsetto to showy Walker-esque turns. The overall effect is disorientating and unsettling.

This combination of ’80s influences with skewed flourishes and eccentric touches puts you in mind of the likes of Ariel Pink or John Maus, while Joy Division and New Order have also been cited as influences. The placid, relatively straight-laced ‘Broken Up Now’ – featuring Kelleher’s vocals at their most beguiling – certainly calls to mind New Order with its warmly melodic bassline, while the stamp of their original incarnation is all over ‘Too Many Harsh Words’: nodding to the dread-inducing low end and atmospheric synths of Closer, it nonetheless has its own unique rhythmic vibe, seeming to envisage where that band might have went rather than settle for imitation.

Elsewhere, ‘I Don’t Remember’ features a spoken-word vocal over a flickering, John Carpenter-esque electronic backdrop, gradually giving way to squall and distortion, while ‘Strawberry Dog’ dips its toe in brisk, folk-tinged electronica. The wistful strains of ‘Still In School’ bring things to a close, providing a tranquil, understated conclusion to the record. Golden Syrup isn’t without flaws – it’s slightly uneven and the quality flags a couple of times – but overall it makes for a darkly danceable and frequently enthralling listen. - State blog - NME - UK

Patrick Kelleher and His Cold Dead Hands - Golden Syrup

* Sep 16, 2011

* Patrick Kelleher and His Cold Dead Hands - Golden Syrup

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Patrick Kelleher and His Cold Dead Hands’ new offering is what you get by playing too much Commodore 64, whilst listening to Bryan Ferry. This isn’t a first rodeo for the Dublin five-piece, having released their debut album ‘You Look Cold’ on Osaka records in 2009.

On ‘Golden Syrup’ though there is a concerted effort to move on to a more polished electronic sound. Having previously supported A Flock of Seagulls you can see where this is going.

The title track ‘Golden Syrup’ has echoes of Visage’s ‘Fade to Grey’ before segueing into an eerie, ghostly, gothic number straight out of John Foxx’s playbook. All the while vocally Kelleher channels Steve Jones.

The lyrics are at times generic: "Your room is dark, it’s a lonely place. Your body’s warm." You get the picture. In fact the most sinister the song comes to lyrically – which seems to be the objective judging by the burdened synths - is at the end when Kelleher strains out, "Our hero’s on the ground, open up the tin something’s coming out, someone’s on the ground, someone’s on the ground".

‘Seen Me Blue’ is an unashamedly up tempo heartbreak, 80s kitsch dance floor number. Kelleher slips into Nick Littlemore of Empire of the Sun mode with the song having echoes of Empire of the Sun throughout.

Patrick Kelleher and His Cold Dead Hands - Golden Syrup

* Sep 16, 2011

* Patrick Kelleher and His Cold Dead Hands - Golden Syrup

1 of 1

Patrick Kelleher and His Cold Dead Hands’ new offering is what you get by playing too much Commodore 64, whilst listening to Bryan Ferry. This isn’t a first rodeo for the Dublin five-piece, having released their debut album ‘You Look Cold’ on Osaka records in 2009.

On ‘Golden Syrup’ though there is a concerted effort to move on to a more polished electronic sound. Having previously supported A Flock of Seagulls you can see where this is going.

The title track ‘Golden Syrup’ has echoes of Visage’s ‘Fade to Grey’ before segueing into an eerie, ghostly, gothic number straight out of John Foxx’s playbook. All the while vocally Kelleher channels Steve Jones.

The lyrics are at times generic: "Your room is dark, it’s a lonely place. Your body’s warm." You get the picture. In fact the most sinister the song comes to lyrically – which seems to be the objective judging by the burdened synths - is at the end when Kelleher strains out, "Our hero’s on the ground, open up the tin something’s coming out, someone’s on the ground, someone’s on the ground".

‘Seen Me Blue’ is an unashamedly up tempo heartbreak, 80s kitsch dance floor number. Kelleher slips into Nick Littlemore of Empire of the Sun mode with the song having echoes of Empire of the Sun throughout.

Patrick Kelleher & His Cold Dead Hands: Miracle Candle from Osaka Records on Vimeo.

Too Many Harsh Words’ starts off with Flying Lizards – ‘Money’ like clapping, before the riff carries through another dark eerie number. This song though displays moments of unpredictability that the previous songs on the album lack. Once again it borrows heavily from the 80s. But the riff gives it a different backdrop and the synths add a sense of urgency to go with the eerie gloom.

Some respite is offered from the gloom and synthesizers on ‘Broken Up Now’ although not from the 80’s retro revivalism. A New Order-esque bass riff provides the backdrop to Kelleher’s melodic and soothing vocals which come through clearly for once.

After ‘Gouge’ the album whizzes by with not much of note. There is a conscious attempt to make things interesting and different. But it doesn’t come off - like a batsman in a twenty20 cricket match trying to force the issue by slogging when he’d be better of playing conventional cricket shots.

Though ‘I Don’t Remember’ provides a nice sting in the tail towards the tail end of the album. The darkness comes to a head finally. Like a wolf howling in a creepy moonlit forest, the song lull’s then screeches, fulfilling a certain degree of promise present earlier in the album, slowly building to a crescendo of howling synths.

The album overall displays some nice neat tricks and the band are obviously at one with their instruments, but the bone lacks some meat and the second half of the album tails off somewhat. Predictable in parts but enough originality to keep it interesting. - Virgin - UK

The convergence of electronica and rock is no longer a phenomenon but the norm in Irish music. The popularity of the high-energy music of Dublin bands such as Le Galaxie, Sounds of System Breakdown and Nanobot undergoes constant reaffirmation, most recently through the electro-rock heavy line-up of the Hard Working Class Heroes festival. Dublin’s music scene today is dominated by all that is glitchy, synth-lead and propulsive. The barriers between rock’s live emotiveness and dance’s momentum are being dismantled.

But Golden Syrup, while undeniably an electro-dominated album, sits outside the electro-rock standard. While the majority of electronic rock bands are preoccupied with the future, with pushing their technology into places as yet unexplored, Patrick Kelleher has looked consistently backwards for the inspiration for Golden Syrup. His second album, co-produced by Stephen Quinn, is drenched with analogue synths, ambient textures, and a surprisingly complex layered construction on a bedrock of programmed beats unfashionably swamped with reverb. Kelleher’s music is infused with a dark, almost Gothic, atmosphere at odds with the high-velocity club glitches of its contemporaries.

This album has a ‘haunted’ feel, as if the ghosts of technologies past are slowly reaching through its many intangible layers. ‘I Don’t Remember’ makes this literal with sweeps of phantasmal screeching over an otherwise quiet track, voices entering as if picked up accidentally over the ether. For the rest of the album, it is the interplay of the versatile voice over persistent heavy electronics that reinforces this impression. Kelleher’s singing spans a wide registral and timbral range throughout the album, moving from speech-like moments in ‘Gouge’ and ‘Miracle Candle’ to strong, agile lines in ‘Seen Me Blue’. The to-the-fore delicacy of the vocals in ‘Broken Up Now’ over its simple guitar and percussion backing creates a moment of intimacy. For the most part, though, Kelleher’s vocals are highly processed, through tight filtering and ‘phone-line’ compression effects, as if trapped by this complex alternative world of ghosts and space.

The emotional distancing of electronics and programming that has been so subsumed and tempered by the rock elements of Kelleher’s contemporaries has been brought to the other exteme here – as it was in his previous album You Look Cold. Without falling prey to maudlin soul-searching, Golden Syrup describes a purely internal journey, an exploration of a state of mind closed in by its flimsy structures of sound. ‘Miracle Candle’, the opening track and lead single, is a pacey track whose momentum feels constantly fettered so that even its guitar solo sounds constrained. The layered vocal loops of ‘Strawberry Dogs’ are like nothing so much as a thought circling the mind. ‘Too Many Harsh Words’ is a dense construction of repeated ideas and an additive structure building a hopelessly frustrated loop – and yet this is easily the most compelling of the ten tracks. - Journal of Music

Interview: Patrick Kelleher & His Cold Dead Hands

They make Gothic techno-pop like no other, which is probably why their debut album was remixed by its admirers and probably why the same is about to happen to their recently released second studio album. With an infectious electro frenzy of 80s melodies underpinning their sound, we just had to speak to the minds behind this Irish band that’s got us all giddy.

Planet Notion: For your first album you went with a lo-fi sound, but this album has more production to it. Is that because you had more options with your second release, or was it a sound you wanted to try out?

Patrick Kelleher: Yes to both I guess. By the time I started recording ‘Golden Syrup’, I had bought/acquired a few instruments that were slightly more hi-spec, plus I had learned a lot about the nature of sound and recording by reading a book or two and learning from people around me who make and produce music. Playing live gigs taught me a lot too. The production methods seemed to follow naturally as I pursued the sound I was looking for.

PN: On your last album you used some strange objects as instruments to make your sound. What was the strangest thing you used during recording Golden Syrup?

PK: It’s hard to say what is the strangest, but perhaps the least conventional instrument is the star wars talking book from ‘Contact Sports’ or the toy strawberry-shaped electronic sound maker from ‘Strawberry Dog’.

PN: You recorded your debut alone, but this time around you had a band behind you. Did you feel you could explore more when there were people to bounce your ideas off?

PK: Well I recorded this album by myself too, apart from the guest musicians on tracks 1 and 3. But the album was definitely made with the band in mind. While I was recording, I had a pretty clear idea of how we would reconstruct the songs on stage, and which member would play each part. So I was imposing limitations on myself by trying to make songs that we could easily recreate live, but those limitations felt very healthy. Who knows, maybe that did help me explore the territory of disco/synth pop or whatever it was I was doing, rather than make whatever kind of sound took my fancy, which is kind of what I did on the first album.

PN: How did you meet everyone that makes up the band?

PK: I met Ger and Robyn in College, Cathal was a friend of Ger’s from school in Donegal, and Jim was a friend of both Cathal and of my girlfriend, Ceara. We were all friends by the time the band came together.

PN: ‘Broken Up Now’ is a beautiful ballade-esque song and is quite different from the other tracks. What made you include it and what influenced you when writing it?

PK: I wanted to lighten up the album a little as it was at one point shaping up to be a pretty gloomy affair. I made ‘Seen Me Blue’ with a similar notion in mind. Sound-wise I can hear Bryan Ferry in there a little and some David Kitt, although I wasn’t necessarily aware of it at the time. The lyrics are quite sad I guess – they are just about people and relationships and events that have touched me in the last few years.

PN: You once said in an interview that if you had money you’d buy some more hi-fi equipment, and with a label behind you, you must have been able to purchase some nice equipment. What’s been your favourite purchase?

PK: Well OSAKA is still a small label, just emerging and hopefully is yet to realise its full potential and achieve the kind of success whereby it can give its acts substantial financial support for buying expensive gear, but they have helped me out as much as they can on the hardware side of things. A year or so ago I bought a Roland SPD-S sampling drum pad and I’ve used it loads already for recordings and live gigs, so that might be my favorite. It’s a wonderful thing.

PN: What was it like to have your entire album remixed for ‘You Look Colder Now’? Do you think any of the remixes sound better than the originals? Any plans to remix this album?

PK: It was great to have ‘You Look Cold’ remixed, especially by so many artists that I already admire. A few people have offered to remix tracks, one has already started. I’m looking forward to hearing them. I’d like to maybe release them gradually over the next year or so, possibly via my tumblr or something. ( Nothing has really been decided yet as to how they will be released.

PN: Once Golden Syrup comes out in September, what are your plans?

PK: I suppose we’ll take it as it comes. But I’d love to tour with the band as much as possible, hopefully sell a few records along the way and then eventually get back to doing some more recording when the time is right.

- Stevie Pearce
- Planet Notion - uk - Artrocker - uk

Normally associated with playboys and movie stars, there's a lot more to glamour than gold cigarette holders and art deco mirrored ceilings. The word can trace its roots back further to the darkness of witchcraft and magic, when glamories were a certain kind of spell to transform or disguise. Aleister Crowley claimed to be an expert at rendering himself invisible without ever disappearing - the idea behind glamour is to occlude the senses from registering the true nature of a thing. Patrick Kelleher and His Cold Dead Hands’ new album Golden Syrup is a dark and glamorous creation, ten reverberating incantations that are swathed in synths with tipped darts of drum machines puncturing the ether. According to Patrick Kelleher, the lyrics of this album are darker and regressive in comparison to his last record but that sinister tone is for the most part, allayed by beguiling, dancey pop.

Sending out a strong Eighties vibration,Golden Syrup is however more than a mere revisitation of pop’s greatest era. For example, the opening track Miracle Candle belongs firmly in the present, its febrile, looping basis keeping a fast and ordered control despite the lightest touch, allowing for Kelleher to sing his parts with a distorted hiccupping echo as Ger Duffy whispers in response. Although there’s a sense that this music could be played by one person and lots of gear, It’s here in this first song that we hear how much of a band effort has been made, with the guitar, synths, bass and a guest appearance on guitar from Cian Nugent all making the song so much fuller.

The title track Golden Syrup makes an appearance as the second song with a big, steady drum track and wheeling synths that lead to an incongruously cheery, whirr which emphasises rather than counterbalances the haunted tone of Kelleher’s voice.

Seen Me Blue is sublime, the first overtly Eighties moment and Patrick Kelleher’s vocal leads the rhythms of the song, sounding bold and an exact complement to the downbeat synths. He croons and occasionally allows a big plaintive burst and it sounds like something Molly Ringwald could shred a prom dress to.

Bass is dominant on Too Many Harsh Words, as much as it can wrestle attention from the multitude of layered sounds that range from a screech similar to a rubber sole on a polished corridor to a catchy, hissing chorus hook. The melodic intricacy of Too Many Harsh Words sets up nicely for the fall-off that comes with Broken Up Now, the briefest interlude yet and so light, tender and rasping that it seems at 3.06, to simply sound out as an exhalation before the heavier Gouge kicks its way in. Although its rhythm has a funkier edge, it’s a bit bare and repetitive but doesn’t come across as a bad song, just a little weaker. Perhaps the heavily-layered sound of previous tracks make its faults stand out a little more.

“What makes this sound?” asks a programmed voice as Contact Sports begins. ‘Change’ could possibly be the answer - this song was released as a 7” single last year and was the first indication of the sophomore album’s new direction that veered so far from the folky electronic pastiche of Kelleher’s 2009 debut You Look Cold. It’s the next major Eighties tribute, built mainly upon a gorgeous synth melody and extravagant drums. If Seen Me Blue was the shredder track, Contact Sports is the soundtrack section where our protagonist realises the answer to all woes is to just dance.

Strawberry Dog is a strange creature, the intro sounding like an electro afrobeat rhythm set to a thick, chuggy bass, but when the vocal comes in its sweet and almost playful, mirrored by a lovely intuitive synth that sounds just like the work of Catscars’ Robyn Bromfield.

Closing these final moments of Golden Syrup are I Don’t Remember, the weird throwback to You Look Cold, and Still In School, the softly-climatic finale that’s just two minutes long and uses nothing more than guitar and voice to throw off the trappings and majestic disguises of Golden Syrup as a whole to simply sing the swan song. In dispelling the artifice of synths and drumtracks the Cold Dead Hands and their mage Kelleher return to human form, free to return to the world whether they like it or not.
- Eric's London - UK - Metro

Patrick Kelleher’s album You Look Cold broke into view from some beautiful outsider place, leaving ripples in the shape of breathless critical reviews, vocal support from members of the old guard of Dublin’s underground scene (such as David Kitt), and an exciting flurry of DIY activity emanating from his loose collective of musically talented friends. Now, before those ripples have even begun to ebb away, the album returns, remixed in its entirety as You Look Colder.

There are always worries with this sort of project, such as the chance that remixed work won’t stand up to the source material, the inevitable whiff of vanity, and the potential for the whole thing to come over scattershot because of the number of individuals involved. Thankfully, and somewhat miraculously, You Look Colder avoids all of these pitfalls. Whether it has something to do with the original album’s magnetic charms or simply a fluke, its remixed cousin doesn’t merely work as a stand-alone record but sounds remarkably coherent to boot, with a luminous Kraut vibe all of its own.

You Look Colder also succeeds as a pick ‘n’ mix showcase of Ireland’s burgeoning underground (especially if you like your pick ‘n’ mix basted in LSD). The artists involved have mostly spun Kelleher’s original tracks into forms that succeed in communicating what their own work has to offer. For example, Hunter-Gatherer’s subterranean nine-minute remix of ‘Blue Eyes’ leads listeners into a cavern of rising dread that will be familiar to any fan of his ghost-riddled electronica, and Jape’s take on ‘Wonder’ sparkles and bounces with the same exuberance that runs right through Ritual.

Elsewhere, the album drips with intriguing offerings from less well-known musicians in Kelleher’s orbit such as Hulk and School Tour – artists who are currently flying well under the radar but who deserve the exposure afforded by this project. You Look Colder is a brave, strange, and, most importantly, successful project which is an essential purchase for anyone interested in beardy music of an Irish stripe. Darragh McCausland

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FOR FANS OF: KRAUTROCK, JAPE. - AV - Alternative Ulster - uk

Never far from the scene when an unusual sound is coming from a speaker in Dublin, Patrick Kelleher’s second record benefits from something his occasionally perfect scattershot debut album lacked: consistency of sound. No longer like a box of chocolates, Kelleher has settled on a darkwave-influenced basis, with retro synths and drum machine beats out of a sinister Eighties crime movie. While the hit-or-miss element is removed, it does mean the inspired, intimate moments that had Kelleher briefly dubbed ‘freak folk’ are almost absent. Nonetheless, if a soundtrack to a midnight bus trip (possibly while imagining dancing in a disco full of skeletons) is what you’re after, songs like ‘Too Many Harsh Words’ and the title track will scratch that itch perfectly. - Alternative Ulster - uk - NME - uk

Patrick Kelleher's music is something like you'd imagine Dublin's answer to Ariel Pink or John Maus' spooked bedroom pop to sound. His voice remains half-buried behind stacked layers of fuzzy synth, and the songs themselves are pretty, downbeat things that nod towards eighties film soundtracks and AM radio rock. His rather great new album with his band His Cold Dead Hands, Golden Syrup is due for release on 12th September, and we've got an exclusive track from the record, 'Seen Me Blue', for your listening/downloading pleasure. - The Quietus - uk - Totally Dublin

To be honest, the minimum I expect of an album these days is to include use of at least three types of condiment containers; Patrick Kelleher’s use of just one hazelnut spread jar is disappointing to say the least. The 24-year-old lists no less than 32 instruments in this album’s construction (although whether a ‘door’ passes as an instrument up for debate), created whilst holed up in home studios both in Edinburgh and Ireland. In all seriousness though, You Look Cold is a schizophrenic wandering of ideas that have been twisted, broken up and then stuck back together; a machine made from human hands with a heart inside to boot. Such a concept certainly leads to the presumption that this LP may ultimately sound fractured.

You see, in some ways Kelleher typifies the twenty-something musician who can home record (and who can’t these days?). Cubase, Ableton et al can capture ideas in a fraction of the time analogue studios can; you can even just write notes in if you hit a bum one. With such quick access and results comes shortened attention spans and rafts of ideas replacing still fresh ones: don’t like the six minute post-rock odyssey you’ve just created? Fine; make your next a heartfelt acoustic ballad and you’ll still be done in time for dinner.

You Look Cold initially seems to be an example of this. The fearsome growls and dotting synths of opening track ‘Not Leaving Town’ create a loud, impenetrable atmosphere, which then suddenly evaporates into the minimal expanse of ‘Coat To Wear’. Kelleher’s wispy vocals lightly flit back and forth in duel with the xylophone, both aware of the thudding bass drum underneath ready to swallow them up. Two minutes later seconds later however, screeching violins are announcing the close of ‘Wintertime Doll’; a track that incorporates vocal loops and an electronic metronome to create a surprisingly full sound. This sounds breathless already and yet in terms of tempo we’ve not even approached a jog; nevertheless Kelleher manages to convey the sense that there’s an awful lot of stuff going on here.

But here’s where he differs a lot from your other digital-track bedroom artists - he’s managed to link everything together. Sure, he’s throwing pieces at a puzzle board with gusto, but then he’s taking a closer look, finding the corner bits, arranging them to fit. That’s why the drum machine-powered Eighties glower of ‘He Has To Sleep Sometime’ manages to co-exist with the lo-fi sprawl of ‘Until I Get Paid’, and how the Atlas Sound-tinged ‘Multipass’ can sit near the distorted swirl and queasiness of ‘Blue Eyes’ without many eyebrows raised. More importantly though, it’s because Kelleher’s human presence shines out from under all the tape decks, keyboards and drum machines that sit around him. Whether it’s the frequent handclaps that pop up here and there or his sharp shrieks and hollers, you get the sense of the multi-musician sitting in the middle of it all, trying to rein in every song so that they remain more than just passing acquaintances.

As if to make the above point abundantly clear, arguably the best track on the album is the most natural-sounding. ‘I Am Eustace’ is a couple of minutes of melodic Sixties-influenced folk in which the multi-instrumentalist shuns any vocal distortion effects; opting for his own singing voice whilst he earnestly “stares at this girl, about to make a fool out of myself”. A prodding acoustic guitar intertwines with strings that gently rise from just under the surface, and are nudged along by little more than the clap of hands and the shake of a riceshaker. ‘You Look Cold’ may be a melange of ideas constructed by a man who’s grown up amid a quick-changing, impatient environment, but it’s also the work of someone who possesses enough serenity to take a step back, and think clearly about how to dilute such impatience into a wholly fluid listen. It can only be hoped that the listener possesses the same.

* Patrick Kelleher 8 / 10

- Drowned in sound - uk - Sunday Tribune - Daily Star

The 24-year-old Wicklow singer has emerged without fanfare with an album bound to earn a Choice nomination next year. An exquisite collection that flits from genre to genre seamlessly, Kelleher could well be the closest Irish music gets to a Sufjan Stevens figure.

The lo-fi production -- 80s keyboards, cheapo drum machine -- serves to accentuate the homemade qualities of songs that succeed in sounding meticulously crafted without being laboured over.

Kelleher's influences would appear to range from Talking Heads to the more daring side of hip-hop and on He Has to Sleep Sometime he has created a slacker anthem for the recession generation.

Burn it: He has to Sleep Sometime
- Irish independent - - Metro - NME

32 instruments are employed on this record. 32? To be honest it’s a tall order to name that many, let alone use them all on one album. However, when you consider that a Nutella jar and a door have been utilized somewhere along the way it’s not really a such difficult task. Suddenly any household object you can to mention has musical possibilities.

There’s nothing as crazed as Matmos’ use of sound/items on Patrick Kellher’s album though (you know the kind of thing – plastic surgery procedures, semen hitting paper, snail triggered lasers) and before too long you’re not concentrating on what instrument made what sound but simply on the ambience of each of these carefully constructed songs.

Pieced together in a couple of home studios, You Look Cold is as lo-fi an album as you might expect from something that employs a chocolate spread jar as percussion. This is a record full of ideas that frequently head off in dizzying directions creating something of a feel of unease at times. Strangely, these ideas never clash heavily enough to give the impression that the album has been hastily pasted together with scotch tape and whatever software was available at the time.

‘Not Leaving Town’ gets things underway in understated fashion. A thrum of electonics churns away like a washing machine on a never ending cycle and Kelleher drones his vocal over the top in a manner that suggests he’s taken a few lessons from a catatonic Bobby Gillespie.

‘Coat To Wear’s’ simplistic 4 note motif is far more interesting, coming across like a heavily edited Mike Oldfield off-cut. From here, Kelleher layers up instrumentation and percussion with a steady hand, never laying it on too thickly and allowing his virtually spoken vocal room to become effective.

‘Wintertime’s Doll’ takes us off in an entirely different direction. This time an electronic metronome beat stands guard as a basic blues pattern is slowly enveloped by a gang of marauding violins that gain a more psychotic edge as the track progresses. As the track closes, you rather suspect that ‘Wintertime’s Doll’ might just have been kept on the shelf somewhere in Norman Bates’ motel.

Things are kept at a fairly leisurely pace which threatens to turn You Look Cold into a somewhat one dimensional effort at times, in spite of the abundant creativity on show. It’s not until ‘He Has To Sleep Sometime’ that we get something with a bit of urgency about it. That this urgency should come in the form of a song that sounds as if it has been exhumed from the 80s is in keeping with Kelleher’s tendency to shift across styles with apparent ease. It’s all simple keyboards, skittish drum machines, and determined singular bass and something of a welcome relief.

The apparent need to constantly shift shape finds us later indulging in the curious casio doo-wop of ‘Until I Get Paid’, which appears to drift in and out of time frequently and challenges the listener to stick with it by allowing things to shift in to the regions of the off-key. Then there’s the low rent gothic lunacy of ‘Blue Eyes’ to take us into the darker corners of Kelleher’s imagination. His voice hidden under a veil of distortion, this is pleasingly creaky stab at being creepy, so much so it’s like a sonic version of Plan 9 From Outer Space. It’s also practically impossible not to fall in love with the escalating drum speed at the song’s conclusion; which sounds as if a younger relative snuck into the studio as he was recording and wedged their thumb firmly on the + key on the tempo setting.

You Look Cold is an enjoyable album, but at times it slightly lacks in focus and probably only really hints at what Kelleher is capable of too. You sometimes wish he’d dispense with the wilfully out of tune instrumentation that graces the likes of the folky ‘I Am Eustace’, but it does at least add a human element to the album. It’s this willingness to leave mistakes in that distances him from other bedroom dabbling musicians. It’ll be interesting to see what he comes up with next as there’s clearly a great deal of potential here.
64% - The line of Best fit - uk

The background: We first noticed Patrick Kelleher in the video for his recent single, Contact Sports. It's immediately impressive – one of those cheap affairs confirming that size (of budget) isn't everything. Kelleher looks strikingly incongruous with his long, lank hair, gold lame jacket and skinny tie, as though he's wandered in from a Dinosaur Jr promo but got quickly spruced up on the way because he knew he was going to a go-go. But this ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no fooling around. This is the sort of club you only visit in your dreams, or nightmares. But Kelleher can't wake up – he's too busy dancing. He's doing it eerily badly, too, but it works in the context of the video – a shadowy, misty crypt of an underground dive, surrounded by revellers, also dancing in slow motion, their faces apparently half-painted (it's hard to tell in the darkness). They're clumsily knocking into each other but Kelleher carries on regardless, moving distractedly at the centre of the screen and singing, his voice a gorgeously ghostly, pallid drone above the monochrome synth melody and insistent but fragile, dubbily primitive and spartan pulse. It's like watching Daryl Hall in hell; as though Kelleher had the video for Maneater in mind, then decided to drain it of all verve and, well, life. It's a spookily brilliant, and brilliantly spooky, performance.
Of course, the spectre of Ariel Pink – the Elvis Presley of hypnagogic pop – haunts every groove of Contact Sports. Patrick Kelleher and His Cold Dead Hands is a perfect project name – the track has a suitably clammy, creepy feel. We're not sure who else is in the band, but we do know that Kelleher, a 24-year-old from Dublin, plays a lot of instruments himself – and not just normal instruments, but, as per Micachu and the Shapes and Clock Opera, all manner of household objects and implements, from doors to Nutella jars. Contact Sports (and its B-side remix courtesy of Alalal, who has worked with the Big Pink, Klaxons and the Rapture) is atypical of Kelleher's output. His self-produced debut album, You Look Cold, betrays a childhood love of the usual singer-songwriters and an adolescence absorbing the obvious lo-fi indie. There's nothing as accomplished as Contact Sports on it but its ramshackle quality is part of its charm. It veers wildly from latterday doo wop that puts him in the new tortured wunderkind bracket (Idiot Glee, Perfume Genius, Porcelain Raft), to rumbling synth-pop that recalls those lesser-known early-80s proto-electro boys Robert Rental and Thomas Leer. On Blue Eyes he's a 50s crooner in a diseased, David Lynch sense, while elsewhere there are folk reels and 8-bit blitzkriegs. It's all quite rough but when he gets "good", he'll be great.

The buzz: "You Look Cold introduces an artist still in early awe of the many musical tools and techniques at his disposal" – The Quietus.

The truth: A follow-up album of ghoulishly glossy death disco a la Contact Sports would be a classic.

Most likely to: Haunt clubs.

Least likely to: Flush his gold lame jacket down the toilet.

What to buy: You Look Cold is available on Osaka.

File next to: Private, Ariel Pink, John Foxx, Thomas Leer. - The Guardian Newspaper - uk


'Golden Syrup' - Osaka Recordings in 2011.
'You Look Colder - remixes' - Osaka Recordings 2010.
'You Look Cold' - Osaka Recordings in 2009.



Patrick Kelleher & His Cold Dead Hands are a five piece band from Dublin, Ireland.
Their critically acclaimed album 'You Look Cold' was released on Osaka Recordings in 2009. A remix album followed in 2010 called 'You Look Colder'. It featured remixes from the likes of Jape, Hunter-Gatherer and Legion Of Two.

Their second album 'Golden Syrup' is released on July 15th 2011. Moving on from the previous more DIY / lo-fi sound we now find them embracing a more gothic, minimal synth sound. Reminiscent of lesser known early 80's electronics pioneers such as Robert Rental, Thomas Leer and John Foxx but also drawing comparisons to such contemporary artists as Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti and John Maus. Paul Lester in the Guardian's band of the day in November 2010 referred to it as "Spookily brilliant, Like Daryl Hall in hell" !

The music on Golden Syrup varies from Italo-disco and hypnagogic pop to the ghost-disco of the opener 'Miracle Candle', a dark dancefloor mover, to the more rhythmic synth-hook laden tracks such as 'Golden Syrup', 'too many harsh words' and 'Gouge'. We also get moments of beautiful heartfelt pop such as 'Broken up Now', and almost medieval electronica in the form of 'Strawberry Dog'.

Patrick Kelleher & His Cold Dead hands have played with Ariel Pink, Yeasayer, Future Islands, A Flock of Seagulls, Tickley Feather, Telepathe, Silk Flowers, Little Dragon, and Dan Deacon and some forthcoming uk and German dates.

Press Quotes
"It’s listening to Talking Heads on purple drank, or Crystal Castles on a celestial trip” (7/10) - NME

"...imagine dancing in a disco full of skeletons” (7/10) - AU (Alternative Ulster)

(7/10) - Drowned in Sound (uk)

"Spookily brilliant, like Daryl Hall in hell.."- The Guardian (uk) band of the day

"His new album is great" - The Quietus (uk)

"Sounding like Prince trapped in a Mausoleum" (4/5) - Metro

"..sounds like something Molly Ringwald could shred a prom dress to" (4.5/5) - Eric’s London (uk)

"...something so deeply intriguing about it that you will keep returning in a bid to unravel its mysteries" (4/5) - Irish times/ticket

"Exciting, disturbing and generally splendid" (4/5) - Subba Cultcha (uk)

"A true artist in awe at the musical tools at his disposal" - The Quietus (uk)