SHRED KELLY - SING TO THE NIGHT
Released January 27, 2015
By Rose Morris
I never expected to be this excited about any band that proudly identifies as creators of the term “Stoke-Folk,” but Shred Kelly’s music is a whole lot more complex and a whole lot less Spicolli than that cringe-worthy phrase implies. The band – made up of Tim Newton, Ian Page Shiner, Jordan Vlasschaert, Sage McBride, and Ty West – has just released their third album, titled Sing to the Night, and I can’t stop listening to it.
The album comes in heavy with the title track and immediately draws the listener in. Shiner’s drums and Newton’s powerhouse vocals leave you utterly clobbered (in a good way), so that when the second track, Family Oh Family begins with McBride’s soft feminine voice you are caught completely off-guard and bowled over by the sweetness of it. Throughout the album, the complex layering of various unique instruments - including ukulele, lap steel, and banjo - mixes with the hauntingly beautiful vocal harmonies of Newton and McBride to produce a kind of old-timey gospel quality, but with a rougher edge. There isn’t one track to dislike, but a favourite is Stereo, because it is banjo-heavy and full of pretty vocal harmonies which contrast with Shiner’s powerful drums without being overwhelmed by them.
One of the best aspects of Sing to the Night is that is listens like a live show. It’s not surprising, after listening to Sing to the Night, that the band originally met each other through a local jam-night. Each member of Shred Kelly is really showcased in this album. There is no one instrument that outshines any of the others (and there are many!) and the two vocalists have equal share in leads and harmonies. There isn’t really a frontman here, which gives the album a wonderfully spontaneous casual feel that you just don’t normally get outside of a live performance. There is an incredibly raw quality about the music and the vocals, which I can’t get enough of. It doesn’t feel overproduced at all, just passionate and energetic, like the band is playing to a crowd and loving it.
What can I say, you guys? I’m stoked.