album review: Kelley Stoltz: Circular Sounds

As all those swirling sounds pass to and fro, on the English garden psychedelia of “Mother Nature,” off of Kelley Stoltz’s newest album Circular Sounds, I am caught trying to nail down the myriad of influences that seem apparent, but none too distinct. That is just the point with Circular Sounds; just think of all the greats who are often cited, like Beatles, Beach Boys or Brian Wilson more likely, Monkees, Syd Barrett, maybe a little Zombies, etc… So do you get the picture? Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t feel retro, or like a redo at all. For one thing, this is by far Kelley’s most pristine hi-fi recording yet. For another, the songs are versatile, capturing and they reverberate a number of feelings you will be glad to be meeting up with again, through well written melodies, that may go from folky atmospheres, to full on Brian Wilson woo-ooh-oohs, like the infectious “Put My Troubles To Sleep.” The drama pop of “When You Forget” comes out of the gate seeming like its going to get vampish and freaky, finally betrayed by the straight forward hook of “you’ve got to find out all over again…,” one of Circular Sounds finest moments. While it isn’t the only thing I hear on splendid bouncer “Your Reverie,” the overall sound and mood bring to mind Headquarters era Monkees. Moreover, perhaps it just the pre-existing Echo and The Bunnymen connection, but the opening bend/tremelo effect on “I Nearly Lost My Mind,” is very Will Sergeantesque. That is enough with the name dropping. Fourteen tracks to give a little sunshine, or at least offer up an ode to the morning-after-reality-check, such as on standout “Morning Sun,” which just builds into quiet magnificence. If your a fan of good music, upper dimensional sixties pop, and all the important things inbetween, then you will find yourself pleasantly occupied with Kelley Stoltz’s newest outing.

“Your Reverie”

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