15 Songs, 47 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

For his fourth album, 2008’s Circular Sounds, San Francisco-based songwriter Kelley Stoltz headed into a proper recording studio, leaving his lo-fi bedroom demos to the past. The added fidelity is still far removed from what many listeners would consider ‘hi-fi.’ Stoltz keeps a jagged edge, even as his harmonies seek the swooning smoothness of Brian Wilson (“Everything Begins”). “The Birmingham Eccentric” pumps to a rough cut Velvet Underground rhythm with Stoltz pounding out piano chords with reckless abandon. Stoltz has an astute classic rock critic-record collector’s taste in influences. One hears the Kinks’ Ray Davies in the meandering melodies and shuffling rhythms (“Gardenia,” “To Speak to the Girl“), chunks of mid-60s garage rock in the shimmering guitar crunches (“Your Reverie”), touches of Love’s Arthur Lee in Stoltz’s wavering vocals (“Mother Nature”) and a folksy singer-songwriter ease once associated with now obscure singers such as David Blue and Paul Siebel. Yet, it’s hardly a retro-affair. A song as catchy as “When You Forget” belongs to any era. Stoltz is merely another fine songwriter in a tradition that operates well under the corporate radar.

EDITORS’ NOTES

For his fourth album, 2008’s Circular Sounds, San Francisco-based songwriter Kelley Stoltz headed into a proper recording studio, leaving his lo-fi bedroom demos to the past. The added fidelity is still far removed from what many listeners would consider ‘hi-fi.’ Stoltz keeps a jagged edge, even as his harmonies seek the swooning smoothness of Brian Wilson (“Everything Begins”). “The Birmingham Eccentric” pumps to a rough cut Velvet Underground rhythm with Stoltz pounding out piano chords with reckless abandon. Stoltz has an astute classic rock critic-record collector’s taste in influences. One hears the Kinks’ Ray Davies in the meandering melodies and shuffling rhythms (“Gardenia,” “To Speak to the Girl“), chunks of mid-60s garage rock in the shimmering guitar crunches (“Your Reverie”), touches of Love’s Arthur Lee in Stoltz’s wavering vocals (“Mother Nature”) and a folksy singer-songwriter ease once associated with now obscure singers such as David Blue and Paul Siebel. Yet, it’s hardly a retro-affair. A song as catchy as “When You Forget” belongs to any era. Stoltz is merely another fine songwriter in a tradition that operates well under the corporate radar.

TITLE TIME

More By Kelley Stoltz

You May Also Like