In a rather novel move, over the past month or so Kieran Cooper has been releasing a track a week of Yes, No, Sincerely onto his bandcamp, a move previously employed by Smashing Pumpkins. This serialisation harkens back to the old days before we had unlimited high-speed internet and any album we could ever desire in a couple of clicks and a few minutes. The waiting with baited breath for the next instalment breeds a newer appreciation for the music.
Stylistically the album is a mix of the 90’s grunge / alt / rock bands we revere. Splashes of Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Failure, Nirvana, Placebo and more than a hint of Kirsten Hirsch’s melancholy mix with the voice of Kasium to create this reflective, melancholic, subtle work of art. Like I’ve pointed out in a previous review of Kieran’s work, this music takes all that is good about Marilyn Manson’s acoustic works and takes away the self-indulgence and pretentiousness.
Thematically, the tracks administer doses of emotions, feelings and topics pop songs can only sugar coat in tracks like Ceelo Green’s “Forget You” or Eamon’s “F*** You”. This album came with a warning; It’s a far stretch from In Search of Reason, Kieran’s previous outing. I sat for the thirty minutes waiting for some shock, some twist, something that would make me go... hmm that’s a little... pop. The moment never came. There are certainly a few more uplifting moments in Yes, No, Sincerely, like the upbeat, folky strum in the track “No Good”, but nothing in the record is uncomfortable, or cringe-worthy. Nothing at all sugar-coated.
The power behind the studio recordings of these tracks, which you may have already heard on Yes, No, Acoustic or Live from the Khuja Lounge, is in the subtleties. The reverb on the vocals, the multilayered guitar and the atmosphere all bring a different aspect to the songs we know and love. A good listen. Introspective. Reflective. Inspiring. Not entirely doom and gloom, but far from cheesy and squeamishly uplifting.
Yes, No, Sincerely is available on Kieran Cooper’s bandcamp page.
From his soon to be released single and EP, expect rich vocal harmonies and guitar work reminiscent of Elliott Smith, Kristin Hersh and Iron & Wine.