Ian Kelly – All These Lines


I picked up this album fully expecting either a late-90s/early-00s post-grunge/alternative band or some sort of alt-country singer/songwriter based on the artwork. Upon popping it into the stereo for its inaugural listen, I was greeted with an album clearly influenced by both my expectations, yet one that had managed to merge those sounds into one beautiful and powerful blend.

“One Day” opens the album with some quick acoustic strumming and the sort of ethereal, clean, stuttering guitar lines you’d find at home on an Explosions in the Sky tune. The rest of the album continues much in this vein, with soothing, almost shoegaze-y lead guitar contrasted against Kelly’s gruff, unpretentious vocal lines, many of which recall Sam Roberts at his most raw. “The Best Years” is a big, big highlight on the album. The song starts with some sparse minor chords on the piano to accompany Kelly, then builds to a gorgeous crescendo with the help of special guest Coral Egan’s soulful, melodic harmonies.

Don’t let this one fall by the wayside – if you like your folksy, blatantly (and proudly) Canadian singer/songwriters mixed with a hint of shoegaze and dreamy indie-pop, you’re gonna love Ian Kelly. (Independent, iankellysmusic.com/) Seamus Hamilton-Pattison

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