KELLY OLIVER - BEDLAM

by KELLY OLIVER

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about

** 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.”

credits

released June 3, 2016

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Folkstock Records UK

Boutique label releasing handpicked singer songwriters from the Folkstock fold.
Most engineering, mixing and mastering by Lauren Deakin Davies.
Except Bright Season by Bright Season - released 31st May 2014
The F Spot by Friends of Folkstock - release date 17th May 2014
Passing the Baton - Swarb and Folkstock friends - 5th April 2014
Debut EP release from Kelly Oliver on 26.11.13. Far From Home
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Track Name: Bedlam
I've just had myself a little young girl and I wasn't prepared to bring her into the world
They said she was a danger to me, so they tied me up and then they took my child away from me
They said I was a danger to her and her father said he thought it best I wasn't left alone with her
I lost my head, said 'In my head I cannot breathe'
They said they'd help me, so they took me into custody

Look at me in Bedlam, in my prison cell
Then invite the people of the city to come and look at me as well
Invite the drunkards, and invite the clowns
Then invite the richest men, the middle man and every beggar in town

A two foot chain keeps me tied up to this wall,
I cannot sleep, I cannot breathe for all the rot that's coming through the floor
And if I move, the chain it pulls me down
All the other women do not speak, they never make a sound
Don't call the keeper, he doesn't keep us well
And don't call the doctor, for the things they do they'd never tell
And if you ever try to shout across the hall, they strap you down and gag your mouth until you cannot shout at all

In Bedlam, in my prison cell
Invite the people of the city to come and look at me as well
Invite the drunkards, and invite the clowns,
Then invite the richest men, the middle man and every beggar in town

Go and tell the paper, go and tell the crown,
Go and tell the juror, spread the dreaded truth around
Get us out of Bedlam, get us out of Hell,
Get us out of living like we're dead to the world

In the world of Bedlam, in my prison cell
Invite the people of the city to come and look at me as well
Invite the drunkards and invite the clowns
Then invite the richest men, the middle and every beggar in town

In Bedlam, in my prison cell
Invite the people of the city to come and look at me as well
Invite the drunkards, and invite the clowns,
Then invite the richest men, the middle man and every beggar,
Oh every beggar in town
Track Name: Lay Our Heavy Heads
Down where the river flows, and where the boats are rowing
Down where the river flows, and where the boats are rowing
He said 'I'll meet you there, I'll bring food and I'll prepare
a patch of land to lay our heavy heads on.'

And when the market opens, and all the people are going
And when the market opens, and all the people are going
He said 'I'll take you there, watch how people stop and stare at you.
And I'll have my arm around you.'

Down at the city hall, where all the crowds are gathering
Down at the city hall, where all the crowds are gathering
He said 'I'm running there, I'll tell every soul out there
that you said you would be with me and I'm with you.'

And on our wedding day, with God Almighty watching
And on our wedding day, with God Almighty watching
I promise I'll take you, with every happiness and struggle and sadness too,
and I will spend my life with you.

And in your darkest hour, when all your lights are dimming
And in your darkest hour, when all your lights are dimming
You know I'll comfort you, and even if my light is dimming too,
you know I'll always hold mine out for you.

'In sickness and in health', those were the words we promised
'In sickness and in health', those were the words we promised
In your sickness and my health, I will give my life to ease your sickness
and you will take my health.

And when the curtain falls, and in your dying moments
And when the curtain falls, and in your dying moments
You know I'll sit with you, I'll sip whiskey like we used to do
and I'll be the last to say 'I love you'.

And when your body's gone, and we pray for your soul
And when your body's gone, and we pray for your soul
You know I'll be missing you, I'll have the children you bore for me too
You know I'm still missing you, here with the children you bore for me too
And I'm still the lucky man who spent your life with you.

©Kelly Oliver 2015

Kelly Oliver
Track Name: Jericho
She's waiting tonight, for to see if he'll see she's fine.
Our hands entwined, his eyes on mine,
She'll be waiting all night.
And she's waiting tonight, he said
'She's this girl I've been seeing a while'.
Does she fight? Will she fight?
Does this pretty girl fight?

We're off to battle in Jericho, he's my prize and I'll bring him home.
I'll fight off any girl in town, for him I'll break the walls of Jericho down.

She's waiting tonight, for to see if he'll see if she's fine.
Our hands entwined, his eyes on mine,
She'll be waiting another night.
And she's waiting tonight, he said
'She's this girl I was seeing a while'.
Does she fight? Will she fight?
Is this pretty girl ready to fight?

Counting the days and the many more nights of thinking and feeling,
the city's in sight.
Seven long days or more will pass, with a fire in my heart, with a trumpet blast.
Isn't he beautiful, doesn't he shine? Walk round the city walls a seventh time.
All of the girls in the town tonight, I'm ready to fight.

www.folkstockartsfoundation.com/kelly-oliver/
Could this be the perfect marriage of musical styles as indicated in The Times' recent review of Kelly Oliver?
“There was a fine support set too from the promising young singer-guitarist Kelly Oliver, an artist who blends traditional values with hints of a bold, indie-pop sensibility”.
Traditional elements drawn from Kelly’s Irish background and mesmerising voice, with imaginative fiddle and sonorous backing vocals from one of Folk’s award winning golden boys, Ciaran Algar combined with the ‘indie-pop’ sensibility of Nigel Stonier who has sailed many a song into the charts via BBC playlisting. Nigel’s co writing involvement and passionate production weaves a variety of well placed instrumental motifs into the fabric, with light and shade a plenty, resulting in an energising, positive and rousing modern anthem, projecting the 'tenacious talk' from the traditional biblical story of Jericho onto the current musical map.
Track Name: Miles to Tralee
There was a young girl from Tralee
Moved to England to feed her family
Earnt her wages on her own
Then she sent them home

As she was walking off to work
Met a young boy in a sailor's coat
I'm an Englishman from London Town
Let me show you around

If I had it in my bones
If I was strong, I'd walk home
Back to Ireland by the sea
I'd walk miles to Tralee

If I had it in my head
If I could walk, I'd walk it
The road to Ireland, by the sea
I'd walk miles to Tralee

I'd walk all the way across the island
I'd walk all the way to the shore
I'd walk all the way to the very town
To the house where I was born
To the very door

I'd walk all the way across the island
I'd walk all the way to the shore
I'd walk all the way to the very town
To the house where I was born
To the very door

If our sailor boy should die
Is it our blood that keeps us alive?
When our second sailor boy dies
Is it the grief that takes our mind?

I'd walk all the way to the island
I'd walk all the way to the sea
I'd walk all the way to the very town
To the land where I was born
To my home in Tralee
Track Name: In The City
In the city we were losing our way
Lost in time, no one knows you're mine here
Well how far estranged we are, we said we'll go hunting
Looking for a bite of meat to give us strength in the morning

In the city we were losing our sight
We were dazzled by the sun and the moonshine
Well how far estranged we are, we said we'll go looking
For the train to bring us back to the room we'll sleep in

In the city we were losing our minds
We were crying, we were sighing, not yet in love
But how far estranged we are, you said 'I am stronger
And I will go the way with you'. I said I will take you

In the city we were losing our fear
Every loving word we said, no one else could hear
How far estranged we are, we said we'll go drinking
As it clouds our happy eyes from the fools we are

In the city we were losing our hearts
We were laughing, you were tasting, oh my sweetheart
How far estranged we are, you said 'let's go dancing
So I can feel your spirit soar in my arms'

In the city we were losing our heads
I was fighting 'til you brought the knife in
Well how far estranged we are, some things won't be changing
I said I am leaving you 'til we sing again
Track Name: The Other Woman
Every night he's telling me
How he won't stop dreaming of me
But when every morning comes
He's lying with his woman lying in his arms

And his woman, well she's holding him hard
She's his woman and she's holding on to all the cards
For his woman, he'll do anything to please
I'm the other woman on my knees
For his woman, he'll put everything first
He won't satisfy my hunger or my overwhelming thirst
For his woman, he would leave me alone
She's the other woman on the throne

Every day I'll hear him
Telling how he wants me with him
But when every night comes
He's taking his woman where they'll be alone

And if you every asked me to stay
You know my answer and you know that it wouldn't change
But if I asked the same of you
You'd say 'My woman, she's who I belong to'

Written by Kelly Oliver and ©Kelly Oliver 2015
Track Name: Same World
You've been dreaming, dreaming all your life
You're a boy, then a man, dreaming day and night
I'm a dreamer, I'm a little girl,
but we're dreaming of the same thing, in the same world

We've been drinking, drinking 10 year old
And you're telling me the secrets that you've never told a soul
And I'm listening like a 10 year old
We're just little boys and girls telling stories of the same world

Come away oh, oh away oh,
Just for a while and see the life you're living
Well it's standing in the way oh,
Of every dream, of every meeting
You won't believe me, no

You've been crying, crying proud tears
And you're telling of the grieving that you've known for many years
I'm a proud girl and I've grieved as well
We're just little boys and girls grieving in the same world

Come away oh, would you come away oh,
Just for a while and see the life you're living
Well it's standing in the way oh
Of every dream, of every meeting,
You won't believe me, no

Let the night sky fade away,
Saying things that we shouldn't say
Feeling things we could never tell
Oh maybe in another place, in another world
Track Name: Ghosts At Night
I think you're hurting and you've been hiding it well
So people watching might not be able to tell
Oh, but I know you too well

I hear you're drifting out to the open sea
I hear you're tired after diving in
But without the air within

And are you still running from all your ghosts at night
Well I hear you're always running, every day of your life
You're the man who spends his days known by another name
Never the same again, no way again, no

Are you still floating into the open air
A silent feather swept in glory through the air
But when it lands, it's never know again

I hear you're sweeping across the desert plain
A grain of sand stuck in a storm, it must be hard to escape
I hear you're flying so high you don't know where to go
You've lost the feeling in your wings, you've lost the sight of land below
I hear you're flailing like a young boy in his first fight
You're throwing punches right and left, you never hit that target right
I hear you're struggling with your hands tied behind your back
You made a choice when you were younger and now there's no going back
Track Name: Die This Way
Daddy, I don't wanna fly home, I don't wanna fly home
I've seen those planes falling through the sky
Shot down by the enemy side, those children all died
Well I don't wanna fly home

Daddy, I don't wanna stay here, I don't wanna stay here
I've seen those men walking through our lands
With their guns in their hands, they're strong and they're angry
I don't know why they've come here

Daddy, I don't wanna walk home, I don't wanna walk home
I knew that girl who was walking alone
When those men took her clothes, they'd broken her bones
Worn 'til she bled on the side of the road
On that night she was walking home

Daddy, I don't wanna live here, I don't wanna live here
Why is there screaming and shouting and shooting
And fighting and fear, a wretched frontier
Well I don't wanna live here

Daddy, let's move away, let's move away
To a place in the world where the children all play
And their parents are safe, they work and they pray
Oh let's move away to this heavenly place

They won't let us in, they won't let us in
Why would they keep us out here
In the midst of this miserable sin, a hell everyday
Left out to fend like a dog in the rain
Are we to live here and die this way?
Track Name: Rio
Walking on the street, lost in a sea of people living
And walking on the beach, lost in a sea of sunlight beaming

If I could go to Rio de Janeiro,
I would say 'Oh thanks for having me,
flying me back home with wonder,
filling my heart with dreams and memories'

Walking round the town, hearing all the voices come from around the world
And the sound of a people praying to the Lord on the mountain

If I could go to Rio de Janeiro,
I would say 'Oh thanks for having me,
flying me back home with wonder,
filling my heart with dreams and memories'

I would say thanks for the rhythm and the music
I would say thanks for the fire and the magic
I was your guest, a travelling girl
But you'll stay with me as I walk this world

Say thanks for the moments shared,
For the passion, the dreams and the prayers,
Whatever my twist of fate will be
I'll have Rio in my heart with me

Walking on the street, walking to the beat of a people dancing,
Music in the heat, and we meet and we feast on the food of the land
© Kelly Oliver & Nigel Stonier 2015