"Every year or so we are treated to a brilliant collection of pop songs; all warm, full of the milk of human kindness and eminently better than the competition around. You can’t help but get frustrated; this fella should be more than a cult. "
Kelley Stoltz – Circular Sounds
Fantastic! You know, the climate might be changing for the worse but at least Kelley Stoltz keeps knocking out mini-classics. Thematically this release touches familiar territory, as Stoltz is a writer who puts his life-experiences into his music, whether it’s his love life, his dealings with idiots or late night drinking. As such there’s always flexibility to his muse; with heart-achingly beautiful love songs like Gardenia sitting snugly next to slightly bemused pop classics such as The Birmingham Eccentic.
Sonically, Kelley Stoltz has moved on since the brilliant Below the Branches; the piano-led hymnal pop has given way to tougher, groovier numbers. Speak to the Girl or Your Reverie are classic Nuggets or Pebbles spin offs. In fact I’d wager the odd pint of mild that Stoltzy’s been whiling the hours away listening to a few garage compilations in that record shop of his. Some of the slower numbers like You Alone or Put My Troubles to Sleep have a woozy, Barrett-esque quality that hasn’t been seen before in his work. And I’m sure he’s been spinning the odd Arthur Lee track now and again... as Morning Sun may or may not prove.
These references are not in any way trying to denigrate what Kelley Stoltz does. How could I? Every year or so we are treated to a brilliant collection of pop songs; all warm, full of the milk of human kindness and eminently better than the competition around. You can’t help but get frustrated; this fella should be more than a cult. Still, at least he’s showing no signs of losing the plot…
Check it out.
Words: Richard Foster.