“It’s 1988”

November 6th, 2020

Bern Kelly to release “It’s 1988” – the third installment of monthly single series

Nashville songwriter Bern Kelly is set to release a new single “It’s 1988” (November 6th via Underpass Records). This release is the third in a series of monthly pulp/noir inspired singles following September’s “Tina Walks into the Hardware Store,” and October’s “5 to 10” This series of singles is also the first new music from Kelly since 2017’s acclaimed full-length album: Lost Films (“Instant Classic…9/10,” Glide Magazine).

The songs were written and produced by Kelly over the past year and feature Ben Dumas (The Wild Feathers) on drums and Travis Vance (Thomas Rhett) on bass. Each release is accompanied by pulp artwork designed by filmmaker and designer Jordan Noel (This World Alone).

“This collection finds characters toeing the line of right and wrong in the back alleys of their own lives” says Kelly. “It’s 1988” visits with the narrator stuck in the aftermath of a crime gone wrong, yet they find a sense of peace and safety within prison walls. These narratives play out as short stories and include some questionable deeds both tangible and impalpable.”

The singles are releasing monthly on all digital outlets and will run into 2021. Additional titles include: “Arcadia,” and “Adelaide.”

Credits:

Written, Performed, Produced, Engineered, and Mixed by:
Bern Kelly

Drum Set:
Ben Dumas

Bass Guitar:
Travis Vance

Mastering:
Patrick Damphier

Artwork:
Jordan Noel

Photography:
Michael Butcher


“5 to 10”

October 2nd, 2020

Bern Kelly to release second noir-inspired single “5 to 10”

Nashville songwriter Bern Kelly is set to release a new single “5 to 10” (October 2nd via Underpass Records). This release is the second release in a series of monthly pulp/noir inspired singles following September’s “Tina Walks into the Hardware Store.” This series of singles is also the first new music from Kelly since 2017’s acclaimed full-length album: Lost Films (“Instant Classic…9/10,” Glide Magazine).

The songs were written and produced by Kelly over the past year and feature Ben Dumas (The Wild Feathers) on drums and Travis Vance (Thomas Rhett) on bass. Each release is accompanied by pulp artwork designed by filmmaker and designer Jordan Noel (This World Alone).

“This collection finds characters toeing the line of right and wrong in the back alleys of their own lives” says Kelly. “5 to 10” has the narrator touching on their significant other’s recent incarceration…and the secrets around the spoils of the crime. These narratives play out as short stories and include some questionable deeds both tangible and impalpable.”

The singles are releasing monthly on all digital outlets and will run into 2021. Additional titles include “It’s 1988,” “Arcadia,” and “Adelaide.”

Credits:

Written, Performed, Produced, Engineered, and Mixed by:
Bern Kelly

Drum Set:
Ben Dumas

Bass Guitar:
Travis Vance

Mastering:
Patrick Damphier

Artwork:
Jordan Noel

Photography:
Michael Butcher


“Tina Walks Into The Hardware Store”

September 1st, 2020

Bern Kelly to release noir-inspired single “Tina Walks Into The Hardware Store”

Nashville songwriter Bern Kelly is set to release a new single “Tina Walks Into The Hardware Store” (Sept 1 via Underpass Records). This release will be the first in a series of monthly pulp/noir inspired singles. It will also be the first new music from Kelly since 2017’s acclaimed full-length album: Lost Films (“Instant Classic…9/10,” Glide Magazine).

The songs were written and produced by Kelly over the past year and feature Ben Dumas (The Wild Feathers) on drums and Travis Vance (Thomas Rhett) on bass. Each release will be accompanied by pulp artwork designed by filmmaker and designer Jordan Noel (This World Alone).

“This collection will find characters toeing the line of right and wrong in the back alleys of their own lives” says Kelly. “”Tina,” in particular, takes a look at our society’s serial-killer worship but through the eyes of a romantic, yet hapless, hardware store employee. These narratives play out as crime-filled short stories and include deeds both tangible and impalpable.”

The singles will be released monthly on all digital outlets starting September 1, 2020 and will run into 2021. Additional titles include “5 to 10,” “It’s 1988,” “Arcadia,” and “Adelaide.”

Credits:

Written, Performed, Produced, Engineered, and Mixed by:
Bern Kelly

Drum Set:
Ben Dumas

Bass Guitar:
Travis Vance

Mastering:
Patrick Damphier

Artwork:
Jordan Noel

Photography:
Michael Butcher


bern kelly: lost films

March 3rd, 2017

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Lost Films released 06/23/17  via Underpass Records.

Produced, Engineered, and Mixed by Patrick Damphier

Available digitally and limited edition vinyl.

1st pressing of vinyl will be limited to 300 signed and numbered copies.

BUY VINYL HERE:
http://underpassrecords.bigcartel.com/

Publicity Contact: Steve LaBate / Baby Robot Media-
stevelabate@babyrobotmedia.com

Hear “Unsold” HERE via Glide Magazine

Hear “Garage Sale” HERE via Wide Open Country

Hear “Sin #2” HERE via Mother Church Pew

Hear “Win Your Heart” HERE via Paste Magazine

Hear “Last Day Of Spring” HERE via The Bluegrass Situation

Hear “Cash in The Basement” HERE via Ghettoblaster Magazine

Stream full record HERE via Elmore Magazine

 

““ Lost Films is the kind of album that qualifies as an instant classic…it’s clear with this one effort, (Kelly) has come closest to his big breakthrough…9/10 stars” –Glide Magazine

“The track (Win Your Heart) is a stunning one that transports the listener to a dreamlike, summery state, perfect for long drives on the open road.” –Paste Magazine

“Channeling his influences—from Josh Ritter and Bruce Springsteen to Jeff Buckley and Elliot Smith—Kelly holds fast to the idea that the song comes first, whether he delivers his carefully crafted stories through folk tinged power pop or reverb laden Americana.” –Mother Church Pew

“Kelly offers these gorgeous and worn folk sounds for our approval, building a steady stream of meticulous melodies and harmonies…he is able to hold on to his pastoral individuality even among all these well mined influences.” -Notes from Left of the Dial

“Beautifully atmospheric…sonically varied yet bonded by detailed, meaningful narratives that play out like vivid mini movies in your imagination.” –The Daily Country

“Cinematic. Kelly’s got an inviting voice that will draw your ear in….it’s got a sweet quality to it but there’s rasp that tells of long nights and tales to go with them.” –Adobe and Teardrops / No Depression


Bern Kelly – Lost Films (out June 23)

If there’s one constant rule in Nashville, where musical trends come and go each year, it’s that there’s nothing more important than the song. That’s the guiding principle of Bern Kelly’s new album, Lost Films, a record that deploys a sweeping array of styles, from power-pop to plaintive folk & reverb-washed Americana, all in service of that eternal truism: The song comes first.

Recorded with an array of the town’s brightest studio pros, including producer Patrick Damphier (The Arcs, Tim Easton, The Mynabirds), steel-guitar legend Russ Pahl (Dan Auerbach, Patty Griffin, Miranda Lambert), drummer Jon Radford (Steelism, Lily Hiatt, Leigh Nash), and bassist Travis Vance.  Kelly’s latest record is a community-minded effort, the result of his decade-long tenure as a singer/songwriter in Nashville.

Kelly’s influences come through loud and clear on Lost Films’ ten songs, from the gruff Josh Ritter & Bruce Springsteen-channeling album opener “Unsold” to his gorgeous country-folk duet with Thirty Tigers artist Elise Davis on “Garage Sale,” a tune that recalls Ryan Adams’ Whiskeytown-era duets with Caitlin Cary. It’s an eclectic album, shifting from swooping Marshall Crenshaw guitar hooks to Mark Kozelek-inspired gothic-noir sketches. Elsewhere, Kelly draws from Jeff Buckley and Elliott Smith—in particular, the dreamy, introspective ballad “Forever Alone”—and he stretches out on the exploratory “Madeline Street,” a meandering, seven-minute epic that Kelly considers one of the proudest moments of his recording career.“That was really a songwriting exercise for myself,” he says. “The original verses were five times longer. I’d done some co-writing in the past, but on this record I handled everything myself. I wanted to have complete freedom to take the narrative wherever I wanted it to go.”

Lost Films (out June 23), was written over the course of three long years during which Kelly mined his own life experiences and honed in on a distinct, dense narrative style. This refined sense of craftsmanship can be heard plainly, whether in the huge pop hooks of upbeat rockers like “Win Your Heart,” “Cash in the Basement” and “Julie” or in the devastating lyrical detail of ballads “Last Day of Spring” and “She Keeps Her Light on.” Kelly found himself with a treasure trove of material to choose from on his new full-length. “After years of writing, I had all these songs from different periods in my life,” he says. “I went through them all and picked out the ones with themes that best represent where I’m coming from as an artist and a writer.”

Bern Kelly grew up in the coal country of Northeastern Pennsylvania, an upbringing that helped shape the stories he tells in Lost Films, a collection with narratives often centered around the simple, daily routine of coming to and from work. “I didn’t have to do any research to come up with that kind of imagery,” Kelly says. “Some of the songs deal directly with the real-life struggles of working people, and to a degree that work can define a person, but it’s about more than that—it’s about trying to find something meaningful for yourself outside of whatever you do to pay the bills.”

After going to school in Pennsylvania, Kelly moved to New York in 2006 before settling in Nashville in 2008, drawn to the city’s supportive community of like-minded songwriters. “In New York, when you’re in a band, there’s a competitive vibe of trying to outdo everybody,” Kelly says. “Coming down to Nashville, I learned real fast that everybody here just helps each other out. We play on each other’s records, lend each other guitars, tour in our different bands, and no one thinks twice about it.”

That easy sense of communal companionship is palpable on Lost Films, which features a close-knit group of colleagues, friends and neighbors, and was fittingly helmed by Kelly’s old buddy Patrick Damphier. “He’s a great communicator and knows how to push you outside your comfort zone,” Kelly says, praising his collaborator. “Patrick really creates a sonic landscape with his production. He always knows how to elevate the track to a place where the scenery and the characters really come to life.”Kelly has been self-releasing records for years on his own label, but this new album is the most concise summation of his life’s work as a singer, guitarist and songwriter to date.

From one track to the next, he draws on his own life for the cinematic mini-narratives that fuel these new tracks. With Kelly quietly polishing his craft for more than a decade now, Lost Films is the sound of a songwriter coming into his own as an expert storyteller.

PRESS PICS:

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Bern Kelly & Gregg Wetzel: Kicked Out My Heart EP

November 12th, 2013

5 songs cut live in the studio.

Produced by Patrick Damphier, Gregg Wetzel, and Bern Kelly.
Engineered, Mixed, and Mastered by Patrick Damphier at Club Roar – Nashville, TN.

All Songs Written By Bern Kelly except “Meet Me On The Roof” written by Bern Kelly and Gregg Wetzel.
© (P) 2014. Underpass Records

PLAYERS:
Gregg Wetzel: piano
Bern Kelly: guitars, vocals