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Kelley Stoltz - Below the Branches

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 20 / 10 / 2006

Kelley Stoltz - Below the Branches
Label: Sub Pop
Format: CD


Diverse, distinctive fourth album from Detroit-born but San Francisco-based singer songwriter Kelley Stoltz, who has a similar eclectic genius to Brian Wilson

I discovered Kelley Stoltz earlier this year when I picked up his album 'Crock-O-Dials', a tribute album to the Bunnymen's debut album 'Crocodiles'. Kelley was born in Iggy country in Detroit, but is now based in San Francisco. As well as playing every instrument on 'Crock-O-Dials', he completely rewrote it in a blues/folk/psychedelic style, but, in tribute to the Bunnymen, also kept as well many of their influences. 'Below the Branches' is his fourth album and Kelley comes across on it as an eclectic Brian Wilson-style genius. It opens with 'Wave Goodbye' which initially recalls 'Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' and has instruments tuning up in a classical style, before a rhythm sets into a groove that recollects the Velvet Underground's'Waiting for My Man' although with more of a boogie pattern. 'Little Lords' is an acoustic number, and Kelley sounds on it like a troubadour. 'Ever Thought of Coming Back' has a Beach Boys charm, while 'Words', which recalls early solo John Lennon, is a solo piano based tune. Mystery' is more lo-fi, and is very gently played and easy on the ears. 'Summer's Easy Feeling' sounds like the soundtrack to a dated film from the mid 60's. The textures are bizarre but very lovely too, and it has the feel of an early Broadcast number. 'Memory Collector' has the groove of something from the Beatles 'Abbey Road' and a McCartney style vocal to it. 'Birdies Singing', is a Mississippi blues number, and has a Velvet Underground-paced beat, which becomes more dominant as the groove moves along. 'The Rabbit Hugged the Hound' sounds like an early Lou Reed solo track. 'The Sun Comes Through' is like John Lennon at the time of his 'Plastic Ono Band' album. 'Winter Girl' is a very soft piano number which recalls Neil Young. 'Prank Calls' has a rehearsal sing-a-long style vibe, while closer 'No World Like the World' is strong, singer/songwriter stuff. Kelley Stoltz is a true poet. We need more people like this in the music world. Shine on, Kelley !

Track Listing:-
1 Wave Goodbye
2 Little Lords
3 Ever Thought Of Coming Back
4 Words
5 Mystery
6 Summer's Easy Feeling
7 Memory Collector
8 Birdies Singing
9 The Rabbit Hugged The Hound
10 The Sun Comes Through
11 Winter Girl
12 Prank Calls
13 No World Like The World

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Interview (2007)
Kelley Stoltz - Interview
Kelley Stoltz is a San Francisco-based multi-instrumentalist. Anthony Strutt speaks to him about 'Crockodials', his re-recording of Echo and the Bunnyme's 'Crocodials', his new album 'Below the Branches', and his early career working with Jeff Buckley
Interview (2007)

live reviews

Brixton Academy, London, 9/12/2010
Kelley Stoltz - Brixton Academy, London, 9/12/2010
Anthony Strutt at the Brixton Academy in London watches New York-based singer-songwriter Kelley Stoltz play an impressive support slot for his favourite band of all time, Echo and the Bunnymen
ULU, London, 5/6/2008


Kelley Stoltz (2014)
Kelley Stoltz - Kelley Stoltz
Bill Gray at Broadcast in Glasgow takes photographs of San Francisco-based singer-songwriter Kelley Stoltz

digital downloads


Double Exposure (2013)
Fabulous 60's and psychedelic-influenced latest album from melodic Detroit-raised, but now San Francisco-based singer-songwriter, Kelley Stoltz
To Dreamers (2010)
The Sun Comes Through (2006)

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