Review: Our Krypton Son – Plutonium EP
The Krypton sun is a red supergiant around which Superman’s home planet revolves. Our Krypton Son conversely, revolves around singer/songwriter and Earth native Chris McConaghy. Forming in 2010 after McConaghy’s stint with Red Organ Serpent Sound and a solo acoustic period, the Derry band recorded their eponymous debut album from which the yellow sun-drenched, rose-tinted single Catalonian Love Song was taken.
This EP consists of three melodious sketches of sweet longing and wonder, the song titles themselves hinting at the themes contained within their folds. McConaghy’s voice over piano keys leads us into Plutonium, with its references to solitude and isolation. “An astronauts a lonely son of a gun/ I’m dreaming of plutonium” sings McConaghy as airy swirls and hazes coat the music. Not dissimilar at times to Grandaddy’s Jed The Humanoid, it too shares that song’s sense of pathos underneath the lush arrangement.
Nowhere brushes off any such melancholic thoughts with chugging, fuzzy power chords contrasting with bright keys and a lovely vocal melody. “What is this sensation/ that breaks my heart in two?” wonders the singer amidst the full, enveloping instrumentation – the whole thing sounds like it was recorded in an echo chamber, or maybe in zero gravity. “In your waters I’ll drink/ In your waters I’ll drown” goes the lyric of helpless, hopeless inevitability as uplifting choruses surge from beneath.
Things are brought back down to earth with the dramatic piano intro and resonant vocal of As I Fade Away. An omnipotent orchestral drone kicks-in in the latter part of song and McConaghy reveals “It’s raining on the ocean/ A moonlight serenade/ And I can’t recall a time when I felt more alive.” On the page, clichéd and sentimental; in the context of the song, impossible to refute. The band’s kryptonite may be the fact that they are one of many current exponents of this type of dreampop, but if these tracks are anything to go by, Our Krypton Son has the chops to transcend the crowd.