Track Review: Kelly Oliver- Miles to Tralee

TRACK REVIEW:

 

Kelly Oliver

 

 

Miles to Tralee

 

 

9.5/10.0

 

 

Miles to Tralee is available at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCZQZRoSNLM

RELEASED:
20th November, 2015

GENRES:
Acoustic-Folk

ORIGIN:

Hertfordshire, U.K.

The album Bedlam is available to pre-order via:

http://folkstockrecords.bandcamp.com/album/bedlam

TRACK LISTING:

Bedlam9.4

Lay our Heavy Heads9.4

Jericho9.5

Miles to Tralee– 9.5

In the City- 9.4

The Other Woman- 9.5

Same World9.4

Ghosts at Night9.4

Die this Way9.5

Rio9.5

DOWNLOAD:

Jericho; Miles to Tralee; The Other Woman; Die this Way; Rio

STANDOUT TRACK:

Miles to Tralee

LABEL:

Folkstock Records

http://folkstockrecords.com/

____________________________________

THIS week is a bit of a girls’ week which is okay…

by me.  In addition to interviews with some great artists, I get the chance to review some wonderful female talent- the best coming out the U.K. at the moment.  Before I introduce my featured artist, I wanted to talk about the gender balance in new music; the Folk genre and its depth- in addition to how to succeed in 2016.  I have been thinking about females in music and how they often get overlooked.  I am not going to launch into a protracted diatribe about gender inequality in music, yet there is something interesting to note.  When it comes to the festival line-ups, there is always the favouring of bands- they, in the majority, are composed of men.  When it comes to mainstream recognition and attention there is still a proliferation of male-only attention.  Too often there seems to be uneven focus given to the men of music- whilst their female peers are overlooked.  Not to politicise the issue, but there should be greater equality and balance.  Whether this is something that will rectify itself in 2016 has yet to be seen; something needs to happen to affect change and provide genuine equality.  When it comes to the underground, there are so many great female artists coming through- that will take the mainstream by storm.  I hope their promotion and succession will see them applauded and equal- rather than have to struggle to gain kudos and support.  In my opinion, the best solo artists in new music are female.  I am not sure what they do differently (to the guys) but there is a definite ambition and soulfulness their male compatriots lack.  As the new year is upon us, eyes are looking out to music to see who is going to emerge and prosper.  Last year- when it came to new music- saw some fantastic bands and artists emerge.  My attention was split between the U.K. and U.S.; through various genres and sounds- plenty to get excited about throughout 2016.  When it comes to the solo artists of this year, the female artists are leading the charge- showing huge passion, fortitude and innovation.  Among the most talked-about and promising is Kelly Oliver.  An artist who has made huge strides in a couple of years, this year will see her rise through the ranks and come to prominence.  Having captured the ear and patronage of some movers-and-shakers; some of music’s most influential figures- I cannot wait to see what she achieves.  Before I continue on my point, let me introduce her to you:

This Land, released in October 2014 by Folkstock Records, features legendary fiddle player Dave Swarbrick, as well as BBC Folk Award Nominees Sunjay and Luke Jackson. Kelly has appeared live on BBC regional stations, including BBC London radio in an interview with Gaby Roslin. Her singles ‘Diamond Girl’, ‘Jericho’, ‘Rio’ and ‘Same World’  have enjoyed numerous regional BBC and local radio plays, including on BBC Radio 2’s Folk Show with Mark Radcliffe, Bob Harris’ BBC Radio 2 Sunday show and Chris Hawkins’ BBC 6 Music show. 

2014 saw 4* album reviews from R2 Magazine and The Telegraph Music and ‘This Land’ was included in The Telegraph’s 68 Best Folk Albums of 2014. It also earned a nomination for FATEA Magazine’s Best Debut Album of 2014. Festival credentials include Larmer Tree Festival, Rhythms of the World and performing twice at Cambridge Folk Festival for Hitchin Folk Club, and Kelly has supported such acts as Cara Dillon, Barbara Dickson, CC Smugglers, The Young’uns and Chris and Kellie While, among many others. Kelly also headlines her own shows and has spent 2015 playing various gigs across the UK, making live BBC Radio appearances around the country, recording an Ont Sofa session in London and making her first live TV appearance on London Live. In October 2015, Kelly was awarded Best Female Solo Artist at the Cambridge NMG Awards, along with an upcoming slot at Secret Garden Party in 2016. She was also a BBC Introducing guest on The Mark Forrest Show, was which broadcast to all 40 regional BBC stations”.

Last year saw Oliver capitalise on her success and make her way into the public consciousness.  Having seduced and enthralled with her debut album (This Land) many were impressed by the depth and originality of her work.  Being so young you would forgive Oliver for taking time out and traveling a little.  Being an ambitious and prolific talent, Oliver has kept the momentum going: her forthcoming album Bedlam is already receiving impressive reviews.  It seems like the Folk star has no limits and is stunning the music world with her beautiful voice and immersive music.  It is that terrific voice and wonderful pen that has lead critics and listeners to a near-paradise: few have been able to ignore songs that reach into the heart and provoke such strong reactions.  The genre of Folk is one that still seems to be marginalised and overlooked.  Aside from a few contemporary purveyors; the Folk artists of the new music scene have to fighter harder for recognition.  With the music world still favouring band-led music and Pop sounds- perhaps Alternative is up there too- more eyes need to focus on Folk.  Many have the impressions it will be purely acoustic guitar-based and sounds like ‘60s and ‘70s acts- Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell etc.  That style of Folk is still popular- and rightfully so you can imagine- yet the Folk artists of today fuse genres and show a huge amount of colour.  Kelly Oliver is probably one of the most colourful artists I have seen.  Her official website and album artwork is vibrant and multifarious; she always has an infectious smile and an immense amount of charm.  Not only does Oliver blend traditional Acoustic-Folk sounds with a deeply personal projection; she has a huge connection with her fans and an accessibility few of her peers possess.  The artists that succeed this year will be those that do things differently and originally.  The past year- in my mind anyway- saw stagnation when it came to (a lot of) band music.  A fair few solo artists sounded tired and uninspired- in need of retuning and revamping.  The likes of Oliver is a much-needed breath of fresh air that is going to have a stunning 2016.  Bedlam is the sound of a young woman who very much has her sights set on long-term success.  With so few sound-alike acts out there, she stands alone: a wonderful young musician that is going to be a festival favourite in years to come.

Whereas Miles to Tralee and Bedlam are Oliver’s latest incarnations, it is worth looking back to assess her earliest days.  This Land’s opening track is The Witch of Walkern.  With a rousing and bouncing acoustic sound; Oliver’s agile and fairy-light voice (with evocations of a young Kate Bush) soars and seduces.  Witch trails, confessions and death-by-water tableau boast an imagination that belies her tender years.  Oliver proves what a mature and intelligent songwriter she is; how expressive and confident her voice is- on a sublime opener.  Diamond Girl is a soft and tender number that shows Oliver’s romantic and lush side.  The song’s central figure is a sort-of rough diamond that lacks a necessary compassion.  A ‘perfect’ love that dims with every day; it sees two people drifting apart and losing that connection.

Mr. Officer is one of the album’s most haunted and vivid songs.  Looking at a boy who goes to jail- and could spend the rest of his life there- it is a song that boasts a truly splendid vocal.  A cobweb-delicate weave that has such urgency, you get caught up in the song’s story.  Harmonica blasts and lilting acoustic guitar puts me in mind of early-days Dylan; the vocal-and-lyrics combination has touches of Court and Spark-era Joni Mitchell.  Showing maturity, nuance and wit; a song that has such movement and swoon- another of the album’s best moments.  A Gush of Wind shows Oliver at her most literary and lyrical impressive: words and a narrative that is stunning in its detail, quality and originality.  Backed by a touching and gorgeous vocal; it is a classic Folk song- something that could easily sit in the cannon of Mitchell, Dylan and their peers.

Album closer Playing with Sand looks at family life and struggle.  Throughout the album, Oliver casts her mind back into history; there is a vintage edge to the songs.  Tracks look at older-days families living off the land; literary figures picked from the pages of Jane Austen.  With one of the most sensual and rousing vocals on display; it is also one of the most supremely-rich narratives on the record.  Wonderful story and amazing characterisations result in a song that lingers long after it has ended.

   Bedlam expands upon the promise of This Land and develops her sound.  This Land was synonymous with amazing vocals that brought the images to life.  Those songs looked at family dynamics and broken love; heartbroken heroes and incarcerated anti-heroes.  The logarithms of the lyrics have not changed a lot throughout Bedlam– I will review it later on- but bring in new colours and inspirations.  Oliver casts her mind to new horizons and towns; new voyages and love- keeping that distinct pen and storytelling quality high.  Characters and scenes tumble with brilliance and sparkle; the vocals are reliably stunning and entrancing.  Whereas the themes and vocals have not needed to alter and improve; what is clear is the added confidence and authority throughout BedlamThis Land was a stunning collection that showed immense conviction and maturity.  Bedlam builds on this and sees the young heroine nail and own every single word and syllable.  The songs are even more intoxicating (than that of This Land); the nuance greater and more spellbinding; the compositions are deeper and more hard-hitting.

When the album is released in March it will be greeted with praise and passion by her existing fan-base; critics and writers will find new layers and sides to an extraordinary talent.  Given her rate of progression, it will be startling to see just how far Oliver can go.  Already as strong and assured as some of Acoustic-Folk’s best names- Laura Marling and The Staves- the British treasure is someone with a very bright future ahead of her.

Looking at Miles to Tralee– the latest song to be released from Oliver- and you get Bedlam’s most intriguing and standout moment.  In front of an elongated (and deeply aching string) is a fervent percussion-and-guitar combination that infuses urgent energy and potential into the song.  Kicking and upbeat, you are at once in-tune with the song; relaxed and ready for what is to come.  Oliver’s Irish background begins with the introduction which sees Celtic sways mix with traditional Folk elements; a blend of English and Irish sounds.  That introduction builds and builds; it creates its own images and compels the listener to nod along- helpless to resist its charm and feet-sweep appeal.  As the introduction builds to its peak- those strings yearning to the point of explosion- the composition is taken down slightly; it demurs and relaxes slightly to allow our heroine to step to the microphone.  The entire song could be seen as a semi-autobiographical testament.  The initial words (“There was a young girl from Tralee/Moved to England to feed her family”).  The young girl from Tralee earnt her wages alone; before sending them home to her family.  Those initial words have a historical element to them.  You can imagine it being set in the 19th century perhaps: where there was greater poverty and that need to emigrate- go to the big cities and make a living.  That said, the lyrics could be applied to a music career and the need to pursue dreams- and support the (less-well-off) family back in Ireland.  Oliver’s voice is at its more serene and breezy in the initial lines.  She does not needlessly emote or over-do the sentiments; allowing her voice to tell the story and ensure it is perfectly ascribed.  A master of projection and dynamic; Oliver pulls the listener into the tale- so one envisions everything being sung.  The track has an innocence and by-gone romance to it: our heroine (whether Oliver is placing herself as the heroine here) meets a cap-wearing boy from London- he is going to show her around the country.  Having arrived from Ireland to seek work and life; she has met this boy and is being taken in hand- much to her delight it seems.  You can hear the pleasure and comfort in the vocal; the radiance and romance is entrancing and comforting.  It seems the initial romance/intrigue might be short-lived; our heroine prefers and yearns for the familiarity of home.  Seeming alien and disconnected in England; there is that ambition to get back to Tralee.  If she could walk the sea and had it in her; that is where she would want to be.  At every stage I was wondering whether Oliver is recollecting something from her past.  Whilst not as poverty-stricken and older-days as the lyrics suggest; you feel like there is some first-hand relevance to the words.  Perhaps- having found herself in a strange town/country- there is that desire to be home and somewhere she feels safe.  Whether fictional or not, you get caught in a tale that everyone can relate to- feeling foreign and uncertain in a strange climate; seeking an escape from the vicissitudes of another land.  After the anxiety and longing from the verses; Oliver allows the song to break into a composition focus.  Those home-grown strings and merriment provide some relief and sense of fun- for the heroine; it is almost a call from across the ocean.   The next verse continues the hyperbole themes: walking across the oceans and journeying for miles in order to get back home.  There is clearly a lot of sadness at heart; the soul has been blackened and a lot of tears seem to be pent-up.  You ache and emphasise with the heroine; hoping she makes it back home you wonder what it is (about England) that has caused this distress.  Across Bedlam you get various sides to Oliver’s vocal and how she projects herself.  Here she is at her most impassioned and determined.

kelly oliver (full size high res) redwood photography-4.jpg

It is clear the song means a lot to her, and as such, you get one the most committed and beautiful vocal from the album (in my view).  Wanting to walk to the door where she was born; you get a racing and breathless vocal that is determined to get its message across- backed by a tight and compelling composition.  Never suffocating or too intense; that vocal stops for breath and never overwhelms proceedings- it is kept balanced, disciplined and hugely likeable.  Towards the song’s end you get some of the most intriguing lyrics on the album- “If our sailor boy should die/Is it our blood that keeps us alive? /When our second sailor boy dies/Is it the grief that takes our mind?”  I began to wonder what was being referenced here.  A little oblique; a little tragic and emotional, these are words that stand in the mind and contrast the rest- that are comparatively simple and direct.  By the final strings and notes you wish Miles to Tralee would continue a little longer- not willing to let it go so soon.

One of Bedlam’s tracks that has no other writers on board (Oliver wrote this alone) you get a true and honest account from a young writer who gets more assured and fascinating with every new release.  There is that mix of personal and fictional- hallmarks that have defined Oliver’s work- and it is a song that implores you to become part of it; get lost in its notes and lyrics and imagine what is happening- create a story and your own interpretation.  One of the most straight-forward songs on the album; Miles to Tralee wears its heart on its sleeve; it is about escaping somewhere unfamiliar and strange- that homesick feeling that compels people to regress somewhere safe and familiar.  Oliver’s voice is consistently engaging and stunning throughout- never becoming too overwrought or emotive.  You do wonder whether there was resolution and satisfaction- if our heroine got back to the homeland and back to her family.  There is a charming historical bent to the song which places its heart in another time; although its themes- homesickness and need to emigrate; feeling out of place and lost- are subjects that everyone can relate to.  Miles to Tralee is a track with few musicians and other bodies.  Stu Hanna produced the song but also provided most of the instrumentation (including fiddle, mandola and tenor banjo).  Accompanying Oliver (she plays guitar) and you have a song that sounds like there is a whole band playing- in reality it is just Oliver and Hanna.  It is that close relationship and understanding that results in one of the most memorable songs Kelly Oliver has ever written.

Miles to Tralee is Bedlam’s finest moment; yet the album is a joy from start to finish.  The title track begins with a merry kick and a sense of abandonment.  Looking at bringing a girl into the world she wasn’t prepared for; the track has an infectious spirit and a great ‘traditional Folk’ feel to it.  On this album Oliver has brought in new producers and helmers- who contribute to the writing- and mixes stripped-back songs with more ornate and layered songs.  Beginning with a song that could easily fit onto This Land; it provides an accessible transition for her fan-base- whilst introducing new themes and subjects into the lyrics.  A claustrophobic and scar-bearing songs; our heroine has her child removed and is vilified by her husband- again the song fuses classic literature with darker sides of life.  It has an old-age and classic-literature feel to it; the projection and delivery of the lyrics is stunning.  Whereas most singers have a flat and predictable delivery; Oliver lets her voice glide and stop; it contorts and expands- bringing the words to life and giving them a sense of occasion and drama.

   Lay our Heavy Heads looks at a place “where the river flows”; it is a gentle and secluded escape; the boats are moored and the scenes are set.  The track looks at a devotional love and bond between the hero and heroine.  When the days are dark and hope is gone (the hero states) he will stand by his girl.  Departing from traditional love songs and their cliché lyrics- Oliver is a much more intelligent and distinct lyricist.  Mixing fascinating slices of literature with modern-day insights.  Being such a young songwriter, you do not expect the depth and quality of the lyrics.  Having studied Folk artists for the last few years, Oliver has really developed her songwriting and is at her most fascinating.  You get sounds of ’70s Folk heroines throughout the performance.  It has a traditional sound yet you cannot escape that modern edge to it.  The composition blends strings and percussion- a delirious rapture that augments the song- and backing vocals.  One of the highlights from Bedlam; it shows the young heroine in extraordinary voice.

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Jericho is a song that is available to the public- one of the first tasters from Bedlam– and has been met with celebratory praise.  Featuring harmonica, violin and dulcimer (among other instruments) it is one of the busiest and most multi-layered tracks.  Placing the emphasis on the vocal, the track sees a girl go to fight in Jericho- and bring back her prize; the boy.  It has quite a Celtic feel to it and you instantly start to transport yourself into the midst of the song.  Showcasing some of the album’s most noteworthy and vivid lyrics; it is a beautifully-performed story that has an indelible chorus- one of the catchiest and most memorable songs from the young heroine.  Drawing from Oliver’s Irish background, the band behind her- including Ciaran Algar on violin and backing vocals- is at their most electric.  The song was co-written/produced by Nigel Stonier and mixes the biblical story of Jericho with a modern-day feel and sound.  One of the best tracks from Bedlam; it has already gathered heady support and praise

   In the City is one of Oliver’s most personal songs- she wrote and co-produced it- and sees her voice at its most flight-fancying and seductive.  Gliding in delicately-picked strings and elongated harmonica, it is a gorgeous and tender song that looks at the dazzle and haze of the city- the desire to be ensconced within the safe haven of home.  In the city- the hero and heroine- the duo are losing their head and spirit; conflict is unfolding and the lovers are estranged.  Throughout there is a need to return to the country/home and rekindle a flame that is dulled and fizzling.

   The Other Woman is one of the most straight-forward and direct love songs on the album.  Not hiding behind florid words or fanciful fantasy; it has more urgency and bare emotion than album siblings.  Our heroine’s man proclaims his love and devotion; when the morning comes he is in the arms of another woman- a deceit that is italicised in a heartbroken vocal performance.  One of the most sparse and stripped songs on the album, you get a fragile and vulnerable woman who has been cheated and overlooked.  Whoever the other woman is; she is put first and adored- much to the dismay and sadness of our heroine.  Oliver delivers one of her most affecting vocals to date- bringing that sense of implosion and abandonment to life.

   Same World begins with a charming and beautiful mandolin which takes the album in another direction.  One of the most evocative and delirious introductions, it is another love song that goes straight to the heart.  Our heroine and her boy are dreaming of the same thing in the same world.  Throughout there is a sense of childhood and innocence; two souls laughing like ten-year-olds- that wonderful innocence persists for the duration of the track.  Underlying the purity and potential- backed by a stunning vocal turn and tight composition- there is some heartache and uncertainty.  The hero’s life is “standing in the way” and maybe causing obstacles between the two.  Another Kelly Oliver original (without the help of co-writers) you wonder what inspired the track- whether there was real-life recollection or if it was drawn from a dream/fantasy.

    Ghosts at Night looks at emotional haunt and the soul being plagued.  Our heroine directs her words at a friend/lover and sees the hurt that is inside them.  They are drifting “out to the open sea” and a feather floating in the breeze.  One of the most vivid and memorable set of lyrics; we get various metaphors and images that highlight this sense of detachment and loss- there is mystique and mystery lurking underneath.  I wonder whether this is a former sweetheart being represented; maybe a friend who has lost their way- the performance is delivered with heart and sheer passion.

   Die This Way is one of the most stunning and unsettling tracks Oliver has ever created.  The opening verse looks at our heroine not wanting to fly home- she has seen how planes are shot from the sky- which you could be about modern-day terrorism; or have their heart set in history.  There is a tangible and gripping fear in Oliver’s voice as she projects those fears and nerves in the song.  Listeners will be able to relate to that sense of uncertainty and political unrest.  As the song progresses we get images of gun-toting men and frontier-destroying barbarians.  Women have their bones crushed- as they walk alone in the street- there are a lot of modern-day evils and relevance.  It is not clear whether Oliver is ascribing the fears and torments of the modern world or placing her song in fiction and fantasy.  One of her most assured and immediate vocals on the album, it is a wonderful performance.

The album’s swansong comes in the form of Rio.  A track that is miles away from Duran Duran’s namesake (thankfully perhaps) it starts with a terrific energy and merriment.  One of the album’s most overtly uplifted and firecracker moments; it sees Oliver let her voice glide and seduce with alacrity.  Ensuring Bedlam ends with a bang; Rio sees dreams of the Brazilian city comes under the microscope.  All it has to offer is here- the sun and sensations; the verve and strange glamour; the beautiful bodies- with our heroine in desirous and itinerant mood.  Whereas Miles to Tralee saw Oliver talk about the need to return home- from a place that is unusual and unwelcoming- we get the reverse here.  Casting herself as a tourist perhaps- and becoming entranced by the city’s splendour- we get a dizzying array of images and sights- people praying to the “lord of the mountain“.  Those cosmopolitan voices mix in a song that draws you into a tropical climate; there is such a sunniness and vibrancy to the vocal- one of the most applaud-worthy on the album.  Whether Oliver visited the city- or is using it as a metaphor for something else- you can certainty here that passion and joy come through.  When Oliver sings about having her heart filled with dreams and memories; Rio working its magic- I get reminiscences and flavour-notes of Kirsty MacColl.  Whether the late legend is an influence on Oliver I am not sure; you can hear that same tremendous urgency and quality in the vocal.  Backed by a wonderful composition- that mixes so many different strands and sounds together- you have a song that demands repeated plays and listens.  One of the most redemptive and hope-filled songs you can hear; it is impossible not to be swept up by the bonhomie and delirious jig.  One of the most indelible choruses Oliver has performed- Rio ends Bedlam with a huge smile; and one of the album’s best songs.  The song resolves the conflicts and heartaches of previous tracks; ending with a positive note.

Bedlam is an album that is more collaborative than This Land.  Bringing in co-writers and new producers; a range of musicians and artists- it has a more rounded and layered feel.  More colourful and vibrant, here Oliver has gone electric- whereas her debut was a more acoustic and pastoral affair.  This has not resulted in an artist having her voice muted; quite the opposite in fact.  Whereas This Land was staggeringly confident and assured it showed just what could happen- a stunning building block for the young artist.  Oliver has assembled a fantastic team that adds to her songs and voice without stealing the focus away.  The entire album sees Oliver at her peak and in extraordinary form.  Her lyrics are more borderline-genius than ever and are hugely impressive and mature.  With no weak lines or clichés, she stands as one of the greatest songwriters in the country.  That incredible voice is more mature and developed than before.  Showing new emotions, shades and contours; each song is defined by stunning intuition and skill from the young songwriter.  Backed by wonderful musicians and producers and you have an album that could stand as 2016’s very finest- even before its official release.

Bedlam is an album that marks Oliver out as a serious talent to watch.  Miles to Tralee is an invigorating and heartwarming song that is hard to resist and ignore.  Replete with a glistening voice and endless talent, I am not surprised Oliver is gaining so much kudos and respect.  One of the U.K.’s most promising young artists, make sure you grab the album when it is released in a couple of months (but you can get your hands on a copy ahead of the official release (6th March) by going to one of the gigs on the tour; or pre-ordering from her website now, which will be dispatched at the end of January when the tour starts.  A soft release is available from the website on January 28th).  I urge you to look back at Oliver’s work and witness an artist with a very special and original voice.  It is that urgency, passion and soul- three words that are commonplace in my reviews- that blends with beautiful reflection and stunning compositions.  I see too many young artists squander initial promise and sell-out their principles; change their identity and burn out.  With so much pressure being put on young musicians, it is vital to take time and create music that sounds natural and true to who you are- not bend to the capricious desires of the mainstream media.  Before wrapping up things, I wanted to circle back to my original points about female artists of music; Folk and ways to succeed in 2016.  I have seen a lot of upcoming female artists stifled by the comparative lack of attention (compared to their male colleagues) when it comes to their music.  With mainstream attentions still fixated by band music- and it being a male-dominated sector- I fear this imbalance will not abate into this year.  It is a shame there are inequalities in music because most of the best artists emerging (in my view) are female.  It may be the case that 2016’s finest mainstream albums were male-heavy (except for the likes of Adele and Courtney Barnett) but it is an entirely different story in the underground.  Let’s hope there are fewer transgressions and quasi-misogynistic trends in music as 2016 progresses.  Kelly Oliver is proving what the majority of female artists are proving: they are just as strong as- and in a lot of cases, stronger- than their male peers.  I shall leave this thorny, controversial issue to another time; but it is worth reflecting on the year ahead.  As I said up-top; there are some great artists coming through already- I am reviewing a few in the coming weeks- that are demonstrating huge prowess and potential.  Kelly Oliver has amazed me with her fresh sound and nuanced music.  Having been lucky to get a press-only/advanced link to the album- *sticks tongue out smugly*- I have been revisiting songs and moments; digging into divine moments and hidden treasures.  The mainstream is going to showcase some great artists and albums this year- whether will get anything as biblical as Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly has yet to be seen- and will see some existing legends produce new work.  Innovation and invention will be the order of the day when it comes to new music’s kings/queens-in-waiting.  There are too many insipid and lackluster artists around; so public demands will want their musicians to be more forward-thinking and striking.  Oliver is one of those artists who has developed since her earliest days.  Without losing her identity and voice, she has expanded and augmented her talent- getting better and stronger with every new release.  If you sheer away at the Folk clichés- the acoustic guitar-holding singers talking about nature, peace and love- then you will discover a genre that is contemporary,   Packing plenty of wonderment, uplift and depth; Folk is a genre that is attracting a lot of musicians- and with very good reason.

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Kelly Oliver’s top-of-the-table consistency and drive is setting her out as one of music’s most mouth-watering and scintillating singer-songwriters.  Bedlam is a marvel of an album that has no fuller material and only stunning moments- songs that keep revealing layers and beauty with every listen.  Oliver has a varied collection of influences- from The Staves and Bob Dylan through to Steve Earl and Joni Mitchell- which she infuses and mixes into her own, inimitable brand of music.  Miles to Tralee is one of the most instant and fantastic tracks I have heard for many a-month; it sets the album’s objectives out wonderfully- just what the fans and listeners can expect.  Investigate one of Britain’s brightest talents and dive into her warm and comforting musical waters.  Behind the colourful artwork and intoxicating beauty is an artist that has huge maturity, compassion and talent.  Having garnered praise from some rather lofty names- including Bob “Whispering” Harris- it is no hardly shocking when you play her music.  2016 has only begun yet I am fully-confident Kelly Oliver will be one of the names bothering critics’ end-of-year polls come December.  Immerse yourself in a special music talent with many years ahead.  A wonderful, sure-fire way to beat…

 

THE winter blues.

 

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Follow Kelly Oliver:


Official:

http://kellyoliver.co.uk/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/kellyolivermusic/?fref=ts

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/KellyOliverUK

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Music:

https://soundcloud.com/kellyoliver

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Video:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCe-rtusTwX8JK3CvqBtrvyw

 

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