Looking for some new summer sounds? Some music to take you into a dreamy landscape away from the hustle and bustle of modern life? Want to listen to something a little different from the mundane pop hits of today? Then perhaps you’ll take a few moments of your time to explore the sounds of young folk artist Kelly Oliver. Back at the beginning of the year I had the opportunity to meet and interview Kelly before she released her latest album; Bedlum (click on the word to find out more). Now with the Summer well and truly here, her music is a perfect fit for warm days and relaxing evenings.
Kelly Oliver like many musicians before her, got inspiration to start her musical journey by traveling. South America to be exact. It was upon her return that she penned tunes for her first release “Far From Home” and the start of her dream career. As with anyone starting out she needed a break. This came from Kelly’s eventual manager, Helen Meissner; owner of Folkstock Records. Helen initially told her to go back and work on certain areas she felt was lacking. That she did and returned with a slot at Helen’s own music festival; Folkstock. From that Kelly made the EP, toured locally and started to gain a following. Along with generous reviews of that EP, she hasn’t looked back since. Although her family aren’t from a musical background Kelly is a multi-instrumentalist; guitar and harmonica predominantly, and these sounds were to flourish further on her full debut album.
Kelly released her first full album, “This Land” back in 2014 to critical acclaim.On the back of which she headed out on tour, further enhancing her reputation. With newspapers able to review the album she gained further recognition, no less from the Daily Telegraph. This led to the album being included in the newspapers Top 60 folk albums of the year. This success laid the foundations for her to almost immediately head back into the studio to record Bedlam (released in March 2016). This time she collaborated with other producers and took her songwriting to a new level. These collaborations are clearly heard in the songs that make up the album. Although there is no set theme, the songs have a personal feel along alongside the more traditional ‘folk’ infused storytelling. They are perfect songs for summer days.
So where does she go from here? After a successful tour, Kelly was involved in a collaboration project looking at the work of Shakespeare (The Company of Players). Those familiar with my articles will remember I featured the band; Said the Maiden. They too were involved in that project and the results can be seen through an EP (Live from Belper). Click on the Company of Players name to find out more.
British folk music is going through something of a renaissance at the moment. There are so many talented groups and individuals that are trailblazing their way towards success. Kelly Oliver is undoubtedly one of them and if you can please check out her work. I promise you won’t be disappointed. If you know of an artist that everyone should be checking out then please leave a comment.