Hedaya This Is Where I Keep It

A truly one man endeavour, Hedaya, (aka Simon Kean) is also the man behind the label, Clever Bedsit, which states, irony-free, is "the label for sad bastards.” Not knowing Kean on a personal level, no judgement can be made on that front, but as for his music, there is definitely a sad bastard feel to things, due to the sonic similarities to the band that invented the term: Arab Strap. Being from Australia, now located in London, there is no delightful Scottish brogue, but the semi-spoken words mixing with the laptop beats and occasional bursts of feedback all bring it back to that influence, especially found on "Bind.” That sound floats throughout the album, but sometimes Kean falls back on his not-too-bad voice, like on "A Split Mind,” or bringing some much-needed guitar walls and volume on "Stendhal.” Judging from the music, label and interesting journal kept in the liner notes, This is Where I Keep It is an intensely personal project and each track shows a definite ambition, giving this album much heart, despite the "sad bastard” trappings. The music doesn’t vary as much as it could, since most rely on beats, Kean’s gravely voice and pounding guitar, but there is definite drive and a refreshing self-depreciation that comes through. Kean, or Hedaya, will keep plugging away, and someday he will make that great record, and music will be better for it. (Clever Bedsit)