Rob Kelly

Rob Kelly

We previously introduced you to Man Called War back in March. Since then, this Boston-based band has relocated to Des Moines, Iowa. Why, we don’t know. What we do know is that they have released a new EP, titled Broken Circle. Once again, it’s a hushed, haunted and moody affair, with layers of mournful vocals taking center stage amidst a backdrop of acoustic strumming, soft strings, minimalist percussive beats and occasional whispers from beyond. Gothic graveyard folk at its finest.

“Ten tales I tell of myself
and the cradle I’m stepping out of.
One is the voices of passing strangers
saying terrible things in their cars.
One is a puppet that somebody untied
but still dances along with the strings.
One is a face someone poured from a bottle
to be young, to be beautiful again.

– Ten Tales

Geez, cheer up dude! Just kidding. It’s lovely. As singer-songwriter Rob Kelly describes it, Broken Circle is “a story about a man’s life and journey toward (and through) death. But I swear it’s not nearly as downbeat as that sounds.”

We’re happy to report that the EP ends on a decidedly upbeat note with “A Song For My Son,” and though bittersweet, it fades out with the words “I know I should live in salt for leaving you / but I am always with you / I am in the sun, I am in the moon / and I always love you.”

As you enjoy the wistful contemplation of Rob Kelly and Man Called War, he leaves you with this —

“And when, abruptly,
the god put his hand on her shoulder
and said with sorrow in his voice-
He has turned around-
she could not understand and asked softly- Who?”

– Rainer Maria Rilke (Orpheus. Eurydice. Hermes.)

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