Kelly Oliver is a Hertfordshire based singer songwriter who has just released her third album, Botany Bay. A full folk album, Botany Bay concentrates on traditional folk songs from Kelly’s home county. And if you thought there weren’t that many traditional folk songs from Hertfordshire, you’d be right! Kelly herself says that they were “slim pickings” but herself and producer Stu Hanna manged to gather enough for a whole album, writing the melodies to age old lyrics.
The title song has an epic sound which is needed to match the dark transportation themed lyrics. Jamie Francis, Toby Shaer, Evan Carson and Lucas Drinkwater do a marvellous job driving the song along. The harmonica was added to reflect Kelly’s love of The Old Crow Medicine Show and the way the instrument wraps around the melody.
Before you read on, Kelly is giving a FREE download of “Lay Our Heavy Heads”, to Angry Baby readers. If you’re not already subscribed to Angry Baby, just pop the email address that you’d like it delivered to here and it will be on its way to you straight away, together with a bumper collection of music that has been shared by Angry Baby. The music comes from outstanding artists that you may not have heard before. With a mix of rock, pop, folk…you name it…there’s bound to be something new that floats your musical boat, and all for free! What’s not to like about that?!
‘Lady Margaret’ is the stand out track, featuring Kelly’s pure vocals at their best to an accompaniment of heartbreak lyrics, in this case Lady Margaret comes back to haunt her former lover. Recorded with use of a vochorder, the effect is extraordinarily powerful. Kelly says “I always wanted to make this album contemporary and challenge myself to put traditional songs out there in an unconventional way, which is why I’m very happy with the finishing sound of this song. The vochorder almost sounds haunting in some parts of the song, which is exactly the effect we wanted as the song is about Margaret coming back to see William as a ghost”. The haunting quality we hear suits the song perfectly.
In contrast to the slower ‘Lady Margaret’, the upbeat ‘Caroline and Her Young Sailor Bold’ will get you up and dancing straightaway. Of all the songs on the album, this is the song that feels like it could have been played live and would be a really fun song to both listen to and play. It’s nice to get a happy ending too.
Botany Bay was released on September 28th. Get your copy here.
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