KELLEY STOLTZ – ” Ah ! (etc) “

Posted: December 19, 2020 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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“I was guzzling wine at my favourite bar the entertainment that night was some local opera singers singing along with a big video screen showing a collage of various operatic moments with subtitles. One particular subtitle, ‘Ah!-(etc)’ made me laugh, I thought it was a perfect description of life – the joy of existence against the etcetera of it all, the struggle. With a heavy head of rose’ it seemed like ecstatic poetry! I scribbled it on a napkin and thought it might make a good title for something” And so the mystery behind the title of Kelley Stoltz new record is solved. Less of a mystery is the quality contained therein… after 12 self-titled releases and a several more under pseudonyms, Stoltz is the word for “one-man-band-home-recording-pop-songs of idiosyncratic character.” A quick follow up to his more power pop and pub rock LP only “Hard Feelings” offering in the summer, “Ah-(etc)” finds Stoltz returning to his sweet spot, writing songs that never were, but should have been in the 60’s and 80’s.

As with other LPs Stoltz makes virtually every noise on the album which was written and recorded in 2019 at his Electric Duck Studio in. San Francisco. A few friends popped in to play along… Stoltz former bandmate, Echo & the Bunnymen’s Will Sergeant adds electric guitar to “The Quiet Ones” a sort of Scott Walker lyrical take on strangers and neighbours. Karina Denike formerly of Dance Hall Crashers adds gorgeous vocals on the bossanova groover “Moon Shy”, where Sergeant pops up again in a spoken word role on the outro. Allyson Baker of SF’s Dirty Ghosts sings on “She Like Noise”, a song Stoltz wrote for her in celebration of her love of seeing live bands.

Both the records Kelley Stoltz released this year were great, but Ah! (Etc) has the edge over the pub rock-inspired Hard Feelings. This one has no high concept, just 12 unbelievable catchy songs performed in Stoltz’s sweet spot — somewhere between ’60s garage pop and ’80s new wave, though heavier on the latter this time around, with Echo & The Bunnymen’s Will Sergeant showing up to work his guitar magic on a few tracks. Album Title of the Year maybe.

“Never Change Enough” wears its Bunnymen influence on its sleeve, by way of Nick Lowe.

The album was mastered by Mikey Young in Australia, Tour dates scheduled for summer 2021.

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