IN Kelly – ‘Under the Birch Tree’

Under the Birch Tree melds jangly guitars, atmospheric synths, and melodic vocals from IN Kelly, an artist based in Nesodden, Norway. Also part of the band Bravo Papa, IN Kelly impresses throughout this solo output, inspired “from the state between sleep and being awake.”

The opening “Sleepwalker” conjures visions of The Go-Betweens in the moody vocals and twangy guitar movements. The reflective lyrics — “I was 23,” — ponders dreams and states of indecision, traversing enjoyably into the “sleepwalker, are you there in the night?” hook. “In the Right” is another success, casting a dreamier folk entrancement in its acoustic drive and mellow vocal guiding, reminiscent of The Birthday Letters.

“Back to Rome” also excels in its debonair rock drive, strutting a nocturnal flair in the murky guitar twangs. Album finale “The World Might Listen” hypnotizes with shades of The Blue Nile, as patiently unfolding vocals combine with guitars and starry-eyed synths for a blissfully atmospheric arsenal. Under the Birch Tree is abundant in atmospheric, memorable songwriting from IN Kelly.

We discovered this release via MusoSoup, as part of the artist’s promotional campaign.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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