kelora are the medieval futurist, nu-celtic folk band you never thought you needed

You heard.

by Matthew Whitehouse
20 October 2017, 11:56am

Kelora are folk songs, paganism, art school, trance, FruityLoops, grime, Barrs Red Kola, The Incredible String Band and Now That's What I Call Music! 49 rolled into one intoxicating whole. Kelora are the brightly coloured crisp packet, wheeling its way along the footpath, a square of fluorescence in an otherwise drab pastoral scene. Kelora are absolutely mega.

The pair -- comprised of Glasgow locals Kitty Hall and Benedict Salter -- make darkly, imaginative sharp shockers that get under the skin. They combine them with bold, clashing colours because, as Kitty has it, "We thought, wouldn't it be interesting to use this highland scenery in a kind of modern and contemporary way?" And yes, it is interesting, but it's also funny and frightening -- the sort of imagery you only ever see in wedding photography, expertly wrong-footed by a couple of oddities in bright red wigs.

Their music's been described as "Nu-Celtic", which, as Benedict puts it is "basically a mixture of quite contrasting elements. Folk and pastoral imagery on the one hand, with present day music production techniques on the other." It stems from a deep-seated love of their heritage (Kitty is Scotch-Irish while Benedict studied Celtic history at university), combined with a teenage infatuation with more modern forms (Ben, grime; Kitty, Ian Van Dahl and Madonna's Ray of Light).

"I grew up with a lot of grime production and using FruityLoops and stuff," continues Benedict. "And I never really left that behind -- being impressed with that approach. That DIY, low-tech, quite nasty, laptop-based production. Loud claps coming in, just combined with a harpsichord as well."

New single 999 has Kitty and Benedict jar their seemingly disparate influences for a twisted spine-chiller in the Terry by Twinkle mould. It's engaging and tense; experimental but accessible -- a video shot in the mountains outside of Perth that sees the pair in a kind of warped, traditional garb, fashioned by friend and designer Sgàire Wood.

"We live in freakish times," says Kitty. "So, you want every aspect of it to be shocking. The song, the video, the logo... You want to create your own world."

999 by Kelora is out now.