Video premiere: Cahill Kelly’s ‘World Upon a Shelf’ is one hell of a surrealist trip

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Video premiere: Cahill Kelly’s ‘World Upon a Shelf’ is one hell of a surrealist trip

Image by Gil Gilmour
Words By Riley Barber

Distorted snakes, upside-down spinning salt rock lamps, and falling pianos are just some of the things that feature in this wild music video.

Melbourne-based singer-songwriter Cahill Kelly has just released the video for his latest single. ‘World Upon a Shelf’ is a sentimental track from the indie-folk-rock revivalist, inspired by objects from Kelly’s mantlepiece, which are incorporated into the lyrics and the music video.

The song explores the idea of finding profound meaning in all of our encounters in life, starting with the mundane objects we accumulate.

“At the time [of writing ‘World Upon a Shelf’] I had a number of sentimental trinkets from various countries on a mantlepiece above my desk. I ended up finding deeper meaning in the song, reflecting on the idea that everything we come across in life, be it places, people, objects, ideas, once you take a deeper look there’s always so much more to the story,” says Kelly.

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This is reflected in the video, directed by revered local filmmaker and photographer Gil Gilmour, which presents solitary objects as surrealist symbols against an otherwise blank backdrop, but ultimately hints at a deeper, more profound meaning to what we are seeing.

Kelly grew up in North Queensland listening to bands like Crowded House and Tom Petty, who he channelled in his first musical projects The Broken Needles and Willow Darling, the latter of which he fronted. As the frontman, Kelly refined his talent for writing songs about everyday life that lent the mundane sparkling detail and depth.

Kelly’s debut album features a range of other local performers like Grace Cummings, Harmony Byrne and Lain Pocock – a long-time collaborator of Kelly’s – and evokes a range of ‘70s influences, from Plastic Ono Band to Bob Dylan. The result is a combination of psychedelia and folk, instilling the album with depth and sonic abundance.

Other songs on the forthcoming album include ‘Beyond the Weathered Pale’, a track dedicated to life’s “what ifs?”, ‘Milania’ which acts as a tribute to the lollypop lady Kelly spoke to every day, as well as ‘Bluesday Chews’ and ‘Goldfish Bowlin’ which reflect more personally on substance use and comedowns.

Check out the new video for ‘World Upon a Shelf’ below.

Classical and Cool Jazz is out Wednesday July 21 via Cheersquad Records and Tapes. For more on Cahill Kelly, hit his Bandcamp and Facebook