For an EP which presents to the listener such a delicate and moving trio of songs, it certainly does shout loudly about rising star Sam Kelly. The multi-instrumentalist (including bodhran, piano, drums, guitar, ukulele, low whistle and mandolin) from Norfolk has recently released Your Way Home, his first collection of original songs, which allow for a brief, yet captivating introduction to a name we’ll be sure not to forget.
Sam is clearly a talented musician with a real passion for writing his own songs and creating gorgeous arrangements to suit. His lyrics delve deep into the fascinating world of folk tales and yet he demonstrates an equally mature handling of real life sentiments.
Sam’s vocal performance is flawless and his engaging lyrics allow true emotion, strength and energy to be injected into the EP. Each track is heavily influenced by traditional folk music but along with the fresh-face of Sam comes a fresh outlook on the musical genre in hand, with definite hints of more popular styles creeping in.
The EP begins with Waterfall, Sam’s take on an Icelandic folk tale. Its often urgent pace is perfect for a song which ends in such tragedy and the flowing twang of the banjo only adds to the drama, creating fitting imagery in the form of water ’crashing down.’
At the start of the title track, the simple use of piano and guitar chords allows for Sam’s vocals to take centre stage. Your Way Home makes use of a variety of tempos and dynamics which highlight not only Sam’s creativity but his ability to mirror the emotion of the song through the use of the instrumental backdrop. This track, drawing on Sam’s personal experiences, illustrates the interesting combination of traditional and modern influences that make for a really exciting feel to the EP.
Shadowland includes an atmospheric interlude which showcases an intricate banjo performance. The EP ends here on a relaxed tempo where Sam invites us to explore the often heart-breaking realities of life-long love and the complicated concept of the realm between life and death.
It will be interesting to follow future releases and see Sam develop his unique musical style further. Despite being only three songs long, this EP has the ability to grab the attention of audiences of all ages and with a range of musical preferences. Your Way Home is a snippet of even greater things to come.Rebekah Foard
Released 18 March 2013
2. Your Way Home