New song Hold Me Close by James Kelly is out now!

James Kelly single review by Vince Leigh

The new track from US music artist James Kelly takes its cues from an esteemed quarter of the rock canon, artists such as The Who and Lou Reed—and creates an absorbing piece of contemporary indie rock. What begins as a kind of Morrissey approximation, particularly regarding James’s timbre, Hold Me Close, extends into a more variegated experience, utilising a tempered groove and cyclic melodic quality to sustain a restraint that hints at a generative world beneath. One must applaud new artists who relinquish their opportunity to jump on any drive-by bandwagon—and I’m sure flavours of the month are not restricted to the pop universe but hold sway in rock land, too—and attempt to merge history with the future. And as far as James’ track is concerned, this is not only identifiable from a songwriting point of view but as it pertains to the production: expansively organic, generously blemished.

Recorded by James and Marc Urselli (U2, Lou Reed) and mixed by the renowned Michael Brauer (John Mayer, Coldplay, Rolling Stones), Hold Me Close is more than just a mere effigy but contains enough spark and tension to conjure a stand- alone renewed rock spirit. As James comments about the new single, ‘Hold Me Close is, at its heart, a love song. But it’s not all rainbows—the narrator is a bit broken, a bit damaged, and thoroughly in need of redemptive love.’ And thank the lord for that. A metamorphosis holds the key to any thrilling narrative, and such developments are standard on the road to redemption. ‘Without question. My music is incredibly personal, autobiographical even.

For example, my first album, Loose Talk, is all about my battle with bipolar disorder. On this record, Sidewalk Hymns, I’m diving deep into my religious upbringing, my parents’ divorce, and my current relationship. Without my own stories, I wouldn’t know where to begin telling stories to others.’

To hear Hold Me Close, head to Spotify.

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