Words: James Frostick
Band image: Glen Schenau/Blanket Canvassing
Matt Kennedy’s bare-bones downer punk outfit Kitchen’s Floor is back with another quintessentially trodden-on track. ‘Before Dawn’ catches Kennedy at a particularly grim low point – after the drink is gone and his friends have bailed, left alone in the quiet of the early morning with only his thoughts to keep him company.
Depression is cyclical. It’s not always crushing lows – there are a few glimmering moments of contentedness sprinkled throughout the day-to-day slog. These fragments of peace usually occur during stretches of activity – among company or while immersed in something that distracts or entertains. It’s during periods of silent contemplation that the malaise seems to creep back in, typically late at night when the world sits still. Here it becomes easy to get caught up in your own head, stewing on the thoughts that gnaw away on your psyche, incessantly wearing you down. Here, depression is its most profound and most dangerous. It’s in these moments that Kitchen’s Floor’s Matt Kennedy draws a large portion of his musical inspiration.
Kitchen’s Floor put out a new track last week that is exceptionally grim, even by Kitchen’s Floor standards. ‘Before Dawn’ exists solely in that pre-daylight gloom, where chirping crickets and the creaks of old Queenslander houses are the only sounds breaking the silence. Over a plodding arrangement of polluted guitars, worn-out bass notes and the band’s signature pots-and-pans percussion, Matt Kennedy runs through a list of absences – no friends, no love, no sleep, no hope. Matt caps off his run sheet with one wish – “I wanna die before dawn.” Brutally final and startling in miserable nature, this one line encapsulates the very real fear of being caught in the cycle, of being unable to change one’s situation and of being stuck in a loop without respite. Thankfully, Matt has channelled this dread into song that, as dreary as it is to admit, stands as a relatable insight for no hopers imprisoned in similar ruts. As the cycle progresses, these thoughts temporarily diminish and we get on with things. As much as Matt dreads the dawn, I hope he’s aware of how each new one bears the potential for new things, something good, something worth looking forward to.