Out of the Dark
Katie Kelly releases first solo record Three Dark Day
Singer/songwriter Katie Kelly is best known for her work with Wilkes-Barre based folk-rock act Ashes for Trees. Kelly steps out into the spotlight and is set to release her first solo record, Three Dark Days, on Saturday, Oct. 20 with a release party at The Rattler, 37 North Main St., Pittston. The album will be available at her shows and at the Gallery of Sound, Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com, iTunes and Spotify shortly thereafter.
Citing influences like Chris Pureka, The Lumineers, Bon Iver, and Mumford and Sons, Kelly says her music started taking a turn outside the folk genre when she began playing with eclectic songwriters Terry Childers and Ray Novitski. She also found herself with a large support staff of musicians, family and friends while in the studio.
“Something I like to emphasize when discussing my album it that although I wrote all the material, it in no way was a completely ‘solo’ effort,” Kelly said. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with two amazing engineers, Joe Loftus and Jay Preston of J.L. Studios. I was also very fortunate to have quite a few talented local musicians join me in the studio.”
The extensive list of collaborators includes Childers, Justin Mazar and Matthew Gabriel (MiZ), Aaron McCurdy, Conrad Miller, Betty Harlot, Ray Novitski, Ryan Post and Kurt Baumer.
“Initially, I just wanted to create a 4 song EP that was a bare bones production to hand out at gigs,” Kelly said. “As the process carried on, I found old tracks that had been unfinished at Joe’s studio and also hit a creative streak and wrote quite a few new songs. At first, I was very concerned, and wanted the album to be a very minimal production of folk tunes, but as the months went by I gained influence from playing with The Love Crimes and discovering new music. I was very hesitant to add synth sounds or electric guitar, but Joe Loftus put it best, ‘Record the songs how you like to hear them’.”
Kelly looks at Three Dark Days ultimately as a journey. As she reflects upon personal losses in her life throughout the record’s 12 tracks, the music seems to wrap its arms around her voice and help carry her out of the darkness.
“Although some of the songs were written years ago, 2012 was an especially difficult year,” Kelly said. “The most important thing in my life is my loved ones, and the year saw the death of three different people; a woman I’ve loved like a mother since the day I was born; the loss of a lifelong friend; and the loss of my lifelong love. In essence the dark ‘lonely hours’ were settling in. But the entire year wasn’t bleak, and I think that’s reflected in the record. If there’s not light at the end of the tunnel, then at least there’s a resolution. An ending is absolute, which provides some comfort, or forces a return to comfort over time.”
— tom graham