Green Pajamas: Just a Breath Away (2000)

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Green Pajamas: Just a Breath Away (2000)

Although many tried -- especially in the Britpop era -- to bottle the essence of the Beatles' music at the cusp of marijuana and LSD (Rubber Soul and Revolver), few managed it with as much maturity, sensibility and persuasive power of the song as Green Pajamas out of Seattle, and they frequently did it at the time when grunge affection was sweeping the planet.

The Pajamas' mainman Jeff Kelly is one of those familiar figures in rock, someone who channels genius but turns into something his own, although goes largely unacknowledged in the wider world.

Kelly often struck me as the Seattle equivalent of World Party's Karl Wallinger/XTC without the great breakthrough single, although of course trivia freaks would know his song Kim the Waitress was covered by Material Issue (right, a major footnote in rock'n'roll?) and also that . . .

Well, nothing much more really . . .

But Elsewhere has a special attachment to Kelly and his music because of this story, and that he just keeps making that great under-the-periscope music without fear or favour. In more recent years -- with Laura Weller as The Goblin Market -- he has engaged with dark English poets (Elizabeth Siddal, Christina Rossetti, Emily Bronte) for inspiration and edged into his own take on dark country music for the album Green Pajamas Country!

Kelly is an artist (his wife Susanne actually is a visual artist, ie. painter and photographer) and so Elsewhere is delighted to go through his vast vaults to pull out this tripped-out '66-styled psychedelic gem full of backwards guitars, some kind of weird quasi-Indopop, McCartney basslines from Joe Ross, dreamy vocals and drone moods . . .

Play this loud and imagine it came out in late '65 and someone had taken Rubber Soul off the turntable, put this on and you'd just inhaled for the first time . . .

You'll get.

For information about, and recordings by, Jeff Kelly and/or Green Pajamas go here or here.

For more on-offs or songs with an interesting back-story see From the Vaults.


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