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Home » Country Life, Music

Ian Kelly trying to cover more ground at home

Submitted by on November 20, 2013 – 8:31 pmNo Comment

Ian KellyMontreal folk artist Ian Kelly’s back with newest album. All these Lines was released on Nov. 5, the fourth album in an eight-year career, which began in his teenage years.

The new album, an analog-synth fusion, a raw examination of the modern world, is the one which Kelly considers to be his finest work.

“[I think] It’s my best one yet, but I’ll let the people decide. It’s my shortest album, but it’s the one that I’ve wrote [sic] the most songs for,” said Kelly

At the first listen, the album gives off an ominous vibe. But as you listen on, an overall message of hope, not despair, shines through.

This is a reflection of Kelly himself, who tends to view the world in a different light.

“I feel there’s a lot of things that need to be changed in this world. And I don’t feel you can change a lot when you’re depressed.”

Kelly also possesses an acute understanding of our ever-changing world, a perspective that is evident even in a cursory listen of the album.

“One of the things that is troubling me the most, is the way that we put the economy above all else. We’re exploiting people, and the planet, and destroying our environment. We always want more and better things. But we need to be able to breathe and drink water, and eat food.”

This angst with materialism and ecological malaise comes through heavily in songs such as “Do you Love the Rain,” where he discusses an opposite and more positive perspective on rain, an elemental happening dreaded by most.

It is a simple, but most revolutionary concept. The world is sad, getting sadder by the day, but getting upset about it isn’t productive. The album epitomizes this philosophy.

When asked how he feels this unique perspective affects his music, Kelly takes a moment of pause. To him, the overall impact of the music trumps the lyrics.

“I don’t know (how the message comes through).  It’s just my point of view right now. To me, music is more about feeling things.  If anything happens that triggers an emotion, I think it’s worth making a song about.”

It is this pursuit of feeling that drives Kelly’s musical selection.

“I just want to feel emotions, I want to feel alive. That’s how I choose the music I listen to, anyway”  “If it’s only about the lyrics, you can write a book. It has to be universal”

Kelly has been performing through most of his impressionable years, starting when he was 17 years-old. Now at 34, life has undoubtedly given him some perspective. Kelly himself is fairly humble about this metamorphosis.

“I’m not expecting the same things. I kind of know how much work it is to be successful.”

But the work is not a hardship but more of a labor of love for Kelly.

“People always ask me ‘aren’t you going to take a vacation?’ To which I respond ‘vacation from what?’ If I have spare time, I want to play music. I know I don’t have the same goals as I did when I was a teenager.”

When asked how his goals have changed, Kelly is quite honest about it.

“Right now I’m working a lot to work in Canada more.  To me, it’s odd that it’s easier [to get a gig] in Europe than it is in Ontario.”

Story by Brian Talmey

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