“If it wasn’t for the prohibitive cost of manufacture, this would have been a double vinyl album” Kevin explains. “I hope you like the record. I feel we did a good job. The contributors are superb, especially Autumn Dawn Leader who co-sings the lead vocals on Season Three and Tinks“.
Ignoring the fact that it’s a single sided CD, upon listening it is evident that there are four distinct sides to Driven by Love, Driven by Hate.
Side one Kevin describes as a spiritual retreat away from the burdens of the world. A suite of songs that he found quite upsetting and emotional to record. That’s where you’ll find the title track and the haunting Memory Coma.
Side two from Watch And Learn onwards contains protest songs. Touching on fake news, the inequality of inheritance and Brexit this side allows long time set favourite My Friends The Rats to find its home.
Side three opens with the escapism of Americana with Uneasy Rider; a take on the movie Easy Rider, and Arizona Highways, the first song he wrote in his teens, updated to include his search for Lana Del Rey – but before we cross the ocean we escape to the forests in the excellent Season Three.
Side four sees Kevin in a reflective mood focusing on his local surroundings. It begins with Jackson Pollock Pebbledash and brings together a suite of four songs about Eyres Monsell/Glen Parva. “It’s about finding the revelations and mystical moments in everyday places” Kevin tells me. “Like Van Morrison with Cyprus Avenue on Astral Weeks”. With lots of reference points this final side is certain to appeal to those who know the area – but even if you don’t recognise the place names, there is still plenty of familiarity to be found in the words. Youthful cider drinking, teen parties, listening to records on repeat, local cats and council estates. Wonderful stuff and perhaps the easiest side to get to know.
It’s an album to immerse oneself in. One to sit alone and listen to while reading the lyric book. Gradually becoming acquainted with it all. Several listens in I’m still only just getting to know it, but I see our relationship expanding for some time to come. Kevin sums it up best though. “I so want this album to be heard and to reach a wider audience. I think the songs are songs that need that audience. And that audience needs these songs! I hope this music and these lyrics capture something profound, something true. It’s art! It’s also about walking the dog!”