I saw Kelley Stoltz open for someone easily forgotten at Maxwell’s, in Hoboken, shortly after the release of “Below The Branches”, in 2006. I cornered him and he gracefully accepted the profusion of compliments I hurled in his direction. I told him his music at first listen is somehow familiar in all the right ways, like it’s always been there, yet is completely original.
Onstage he was charming and made being prodigiously talented look easy. He had a band, but on record plays all the instruments himself.
Prepare yourself for a “I can’t believe I’ve never heard this before” moment.
Here’s your new favorite artist.
I’ve included songs from several of his releases. “Wave Goodbye” and “Ever Thought Of Coming Back” are from “Below The Branches”. “Perpetual Night” and “Jewel Of The Evening” are from “Antique Glow”. “Mother Nature” and “Talk To The Girl” are from his latest, “Circular Sounds”. Buy some of his stuff, he deserves recognition, and stardom, if that’s what he wants.
Kelley Stoltz is an American singer, songwriter and musician. He currently resides in San Francisco, CA. His music has been compared to that of Brian Wilson, The Velvet Underground, Nick Drake and Leonard Cohen. (!)-Ed
Kelley Stoltz was born in 1971 and grew up in Michigan. He moved to New York in his early twenties. While living in New York in the mid 1990s, Stoltz served as an intern with Jeff Buckley’s management company where he worked as a “fan-mail” sorter. In the late 1990s he relocated to San Francisco and began his own musical career.
Stoltz recorded his first album The Past Was Faster in 1999, released on Telegraph Records. Stoltz self-released his second album Antique Glow in 2001. The original release was 200 vinyl LPs in hand-painted sleeves. Later the album gained wider distribution when it was released by Jack Pine Social Club in the US, TKTK in the UK and Raoul Records in Australia. His next project was recorded in the last week of 2001: a track by track cover of Echo & the Bunnymen’s Crocodiles album recorded on his 8-track tape recorder.
In late 2003, Stoltz toured Australia for the first time and recorded a 4 track direct to disc EP at Corduroy Records. In 2004, Mojo magazine gave Antique Glow a four (out of five) star review and featured an article on Stoltz in their “Mojo Rising” column.
In 2005, Stoltz signed to Sub Pop and released “The Sun Comes Through” EP. He also toured Europe in April and Australia for a second time in Dec 2005-January 2006. His first full length release for SubPop, entitled “Below the Branches”, was released in February 2006.
In tandem with the release of “Below the Branches” was an industry first: “Below the Branches” was the first record in history to make an on-package claim about renewable energy use with the Green-e logo. Stoltz tracked his electricity use and with the help of the Green-e program, offset the all the electricity used to record his record with green tags from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation. In Kelley’s words: “Using renewable energy to offset the electricity I needed to power my guitar amps and my recording machines was a simple and effective way for me to do something about my impact on the environment. Green-e certifies that I am buying 100 percent renewable energy. Hopefully, people will see their logo; check into what they do, and make renewable energy a part of their lives, too.”
Stoltz and his band were the opening support band for The Raconteurs, on their July and August 2006 tour. Stoltz also performed at the 2006 Lollapalooza in Chicago.
His song “Birdies Singing” from “Below the Branches” has been used by Volvo for the Volvo C30 commercial in Sweden in 2007; it has also been used for the Regions Financial ad campaign of 2007 in the U.S. Stoltz’s song, “Memory Collector” is featured in a Marriott Hotels ad, and several of his songs were used in the hit FX series, “Damages.”
In early 2006, Stoltz produced God’s Boat, the debut album from The Passionistas – which was released on June 5, 2007.
On February 5, 2008 Stoltz’s album Circular Sounds was released by Sub Pop.