** SUNDAY TIMES CULTURE - AN ESSENTIAL NEW RELEASE ** "Sleek but spirited arrangements...sense of spontaneity...a radical leap forward" Clive Davis.
"this really is a superb album likely to see her in the folk album of the year lists" Shire Folk
"her musicianship and particularly her lyrics stamp this album as her own" Songlines Magazine ***
"One of the first significant folk releases out of the blocks in 2016...I’ve no doubt that it’s going to generate a heap of interest from folk fans and commentators alike....this album is a triumph. Its inevitable success is thoroughly deserved" Rob Bridge Redwood www.redwoodphotography.co.uk/blog/
"Kelly Oliver follows up her ‘This Land’ debut; a debut which saw her attracting all sorts of media attention – moths gathered round her brightly burning flame led famously by the legendary Bob Harris as king moth. Promise. Potential. Anticipation. All roads lead to ‘Bedlam’" Louder Than War, Mike Ainscoe
"achieves a striking degree of artistic (and musical) unity through the consistency of her songwriting in tandem with her delivery of the material – and of course, the rather distinctive singing voice with which she’s blessed. This latter feature will probably be that which grabs one’s attention at the outset, although a further strong feature of Kelly’s writing is undoubtedly her gift for melody allied to a keen indie-folk sensibility which nevertheless carries a certain underlying resonance of folk tradition" David Kidman, Folk and Roots
"Oliver delivers slices of life in an old world folk manner that sets her apart from many on the folk scene today" musicexistence.com/blog/2016/03/27/album-review-kelly-oliver-bedlam/
“an exceptional lyricist” Penny Black Magazine ns.pennyblackmusic.co.uk/MagSitePages/Review/10267/R/Kelly-Oliver
FEATURED ALBUM OF THE MONTH FROM FOLK RADIO UK
"Anyone with even a passing interest in the current state of play of the contemporary folk scene in the UK will surely already be familiar with the music of singer/songwriter Kelly Oliver..The sound captured on Bedlam is a measure of just how far she’s come in the past year or so as a musician..a polished sound which retains a coherent unity while allowing the individuality of her songwriting to shine through..The deeper I’ve listened into Bedlam, the more I’ve been impressed at Kelly’s skill as a lyricist, particularly her ability to translate her social conscience into a very listenable form without either diluting the message or, conversely, hammering it home with the (lack of) subtlety of a protest march chant..With Bedlam, Kelly Oliver has created an album which crosses musical boundaries, full of thought-provoking lyrics and musical arrangements which move between stripped-down contemporary folk and full-on indie/pop without sacrificing accessibility or compromising her own integrity as a singer/songwriter. Consolidating the best aspects of her previous debut album at the same time as introducing other influences, it points the way to possible future musical avenues worthy of exploration, without leaving behind Kelly’s already large and dedicated fan base while attracting a wider mainstream audience" Helen Gregory, FRUK - read the full review here www.folkradio.co.uk/2016/01/kelly-oliver-bedlam/
ALBUM OF THE MONTH - FOLKWORDS
‘songs that touch you deep inside, cause eyes to water and hearts to rise..the early promise is fulfilled, the sound has developed and it’s clear how far this gifted and talented singer songwriter has come. The songs on ‘Bedlam’ will remain by your side long after the album has finished" Tim Carroll, Folkwords www.folkwords.com/folkwordsreviews_96973.html
"The more you listen to ‘Bedlam’ the more it becomes obvious that Kelly an exceptionable lyricist...Currently on tour promoting the album, 2016 is shaping up to be the year Kelly Oliver breaks through" Malcolm Carter, Penny Black Music www.pennyblackmusic.co.uk/MagSitePages/Review/10267/R/Kelly-Oliver-CD-Bedlam
"With her debut album ‘This Land’ she arrived in a rush and swept all before her, now with ‘Bedlam’, the early promise is fulfilled, the sound has developed and it’s clear how far this gifted and talented singer songwriter has come....Kelly Oliver writes songs that touch you deep inside, cause eyes to water and hearts to rise. The songs on ‘Bedlam’ will remain by your side long after the album has finished" Tim Carroll Folkwords www.folkwords.com/folkwordsreviews_96973.html
"What an absolute treat the new album from Kelly Oliver is. It is at once bouncy, thoughtful, familiar (to those of us who have listened to Kelly's previous work) and different.The whole has a feeling of freshness and innovation with Kelly's beautiful and distinctive voice and her interesting story telling..The accomplished writing, stunning vocals and excellent production. I could talk on about the rest of the album but that could never convey the impact of it the way a simple first listen can" Liz Franklin, Radio Teesdale
"Just occasionally, on the first listen, a voice or a piece of music makes me stop and listen immediately and Kelly Oliver's voice has just had such an effect on me...Some of the music is extremely stripped back allowing the full beauty of Kelly's voice to shine.. this is an album bursting with quality, great songs and superb production from a lady with a remarkable voice" Rory Stanbridge FATEA www.fatea-records.co.uk/magazine/2016/KellyOliver.html
"Female artists are leading the charge-showing huge passion, fortitude and innovation. Among the most talked-about and promising is Kelly Oliver. An artist who has made huge strides in a couple of years, this year will see her rise through the ranks and come to prominence....The likes of Oliver is a much-needed breath of fresh air that is going to have a stunning 2016. Bedlam is the sound of a young woman who very much has her sights set on long-term success. With so few sound-alike acts out there, she stands alone: a wonderful young musician that is going to be a festival favourite in years to come..already as strong and assured as some of Acoustic-Folk’s best names- Laura Marling and The Staves- the British treasure is someone with a very bright future ahead of her. Her lyrics are more borderline-genius than ever.. hugely impressive & mature..she stands as one of the greatest songwriters in the country" Sam Liddicott, Musicmusings
BEDLAM is Kelly Oliver’s second album. It is out on March 6th 2016 but has a soft website release 28th January which is the start of her tour.
There will be a 12” vinyl release to be announced.
The tour poster is attached at the back. Some dates to be added as they are confirmed. Unlike This Land, which won an Emerging Excellence Award from Help Musicians UK and was completely funded by the financial bursary, this sophomore album has been completely self funded by Kelly and Folkstock Records.
The ten track album has been a year in the making, with tracks released during the year as they were ready to give a taster of things to come. This has proved to be a rewarding experience as each of the four tracks – two singles and one double A side – have all gained BBC Radio 2 play on both The Folk Show with Mark Radcliffe and Bob Harris’ Sunday Show, in addition to BBC 6 play for two of them on Chris Hawkins’ Early Show and two plays and an interview across the BBC ‘local’ 40 station network thanks to Mark Forrest’s Evening Show which is broadcast every weekday evening across the country.
Two of the tracks, Miles to Tralee and Jericho, enjoyed much attention owing partly to the videos which accompanied them. Folk Radio UK saw fit to exclusively unveil Miles to Tralee’s video and The Telegraph kindly featured both on their Music page. The Telegraph awarded Kelly’s debut album a 4* review, and if their reaction to Jericho, released ahead of the album is anything to go by, we are hoping that they also enjoy Bedlam
“Traditional at the core, and with production from Nigel Stonier, Jericho builds from a tender guitar and harmonica introduction into Oliver's distinctive and breathtaking vocals.” The Telegraph
Kelly has been working with three different producers on this album, some of which are co writes. This approach is quite a departure from usual protocol on folk albums it would seem. However, we hope that the production and variety in instrumentation this affords will help the listener enjoy more produced tracks alongside those deliberately left ‘stripped back’. The order of tracks has been very carefully crafted by Kelly and her label, in the hope that the people who enjoyed the simplicity of This Land will find something to savour, as well as those people who have come across Kelly’s music this year, thanks to her successive single releases.
Kelly has two tracks produced and co written with Nigel Stonier, for which one of them has Thea Gilmore on backing vocals (Rio) and the other has Ciaran Algar on fiddle and backing vocals, in addition to other talented musicians (Jericho).
There’s four tracks produced by Stu Hanna of Megson, including one which has both Stu and Debbie Hanna on backing vocals (Same World) and this version has a wonderful intro which is not present on the single release radio edit you may already have heard. Bedlam, the opening title track was co written with Stu. Lay Our Heavy Heads and Miles to Tralee were both written by Kelly alone with the benefit of Stu’s extra instrumentation on production to bring them to life.
Kelly also joined forces with the producer who worked on the whole of her first album, Lauren Deakin Davies. All four songs (In the City, The Other Woman, Die This Way and Ghosts at Night) were written by Kelly and have the benefit of Lukas Drinkwater on double bass and simple production from Lauren exposing the quality of the song writing and Kelly’s crystal clear vocals. The expression of the lyrics for these four songs is purposefully unburdened from the addition of layers of production, which we felt leant itself to the other songs produced by Stu and Nigel. The decisions of who produced each track were carefully and laboriously negotiated and we hope you enjoy the product of our decisions.
The photography for the album was conducted by Freddy Bulmer who also did the artwork for This Land. You will probably see a ‘house style’ emerging for Kelly’s releases. The final artwork, using Freddy’s image, and layout was created by Helen Meissner and Kelly Oliver for this album however, and we hope you find it clear and relevant, with a variety of images to create a colourful, exciting package in which Kelly’s music is presented.
Stu Hanna had this to say about working with Kelly
"Kelly Oliver is a very talented singer and songwriter, but what impressed me the most was the intricacy of her guitar playing. I thought I'd be helping her along, but she was teaching me fancy chords, rhythms and tunings by the end of the session!" Stu Hanna, (Megson), Producer
Nigel Stonier had this to say about working with Kelly
“As a producer/songwriter who has worked with the best known names in the UK folk and roots scene over the last 20 years, I consider Kelly Oliver to be a genuine, convincing talent.
She has a pure voice to which people respond and connect - also an innate grasp of the folk tradition, a strong ear for melody and an ability to tell stories through lyrics in a powerful but accessible way. She shows maturity and dedication to her performance, stage craft and writing. I think she will have a long career”
Kelly has this to say about her second album
“In the writing and making of Bedlam, I think a lot of my musical influences have been exposed. I've spent the past 2 and a half years listening to, watching and learning from all kinds of folk musicians, and I have tried to bring these influences into my music. I have used alternate tunings on almost every song and focused a lot on writing the guitar accompaniment as well as the lyrics and melody, and the different tunings have naturally brought a different sound to the album as a whole. Working with producer Stu Hanna was really exciting for me, and brought out the folk sound that I'd imagined when writing the tracks. Nigel Stonier brought out a commercial sound to the contemporary songs I was writing, and I co-produced the more stripped back tracks of the album with Lauren Deakin-Davies, in an attempt to showcase the vocals more and gently transition from the minimal production on my debut album This Land. Bedlam is an exploration of social and political subject matter mixed with personal experiences and observations, and I challenge myself to make my lyrics informative and factual, whilst also hopefully being interesting and exciting to the listener.”