Kelley Stoltz / Double Exposure - 4067492
While many rocking bands in San Francisco and beyond claim to be ‘garage’ bands’ – Kelley Stoltz has actually recorded his new LP “Double Exposure” in the garage behind his house. And while the car oil stained floors are covered by oriental rugs and there are no snow shovels laying around – there is a collection of vintage synths, 17 guitars, tape echos, mellotrons, a 50’s jukebox, a Teardrop Explodes poster, a tape machine used by The Residents, an amp used by Stooge James Williamson, and a myriad other noise making devices which rear their heads on his new record. All told the place is called Electric Duck Studio and it’s become a muse capturing zone for Stoltz, as well as Sonny & the Sunsets, The Mantles, Tim Cohen, Life Stinks, The Sandwitches and many other tuneweavers big and small.
“Double Exposure” is Kelley’s first album in a while – near on 3 years since his last one, “To Dreamers” came out on Sub Pop. What the heck has he been doing since, you ask? Well renovating the garage for one, and using said garage studio to engineer, produce or encourage the above named bands… You see time flies when you’re having fun. Add in some love, a little heartbreak, turning 40, deciding to jog everyday, staring at the wall, singing hundreds of songs into the phone, sleeping, recording an album of cover songs with his family, making a couple 45 singles, catching white wine buzzes, getting dropped by Sub Pop, playing keyboards on tour with Rodriguez, and signing on with old supporters at Third Man Records… really it’s as good old Sandy Denny sang, who knows where the time goes.
Anyway, if you stir up all that stuff and a few other things we won’t mention here, you have the makings of a fantastic and heartfelt record, “Double Exposure” has 10 new jams that Thee Oh Sees main man, John Dwyer, describes thusly, “A piece of gold in your ear, A lovely thought in your mind, A breeze in the sun, This record is perfect…”
Nicely put there Johnny! And you too will thrill to the sound of delay pedals twisting the keys on “Inside My Head”, crane your neck to the backwards guitars of “Are You My Love”, ramble and gamble to the clanging cymbals on the title track, question the sanity of a song called “Kim Chee Taco Man”, and finally, fall down and weep at the sweet fluted sentiments of “It’s Summertime Again”.
For all of you Aussie rules fans, the album was mixed and mastered by Mikey Young of Eddy Current Suppression Ring/Total Control and features Stoltz playing most of the instruments himself and overdubbing parts through his trusty 8 track tape machine.
Released: October 7, 2013
Kelley Stoltz / To Dreamers - SP890
Kelley Stoltz, now a veritable godfather to the burgeoning San Francisco under/over-ground (folks like Thee Oh Sees, Sonny & the Sunsets, The Fresh & Onlys), has blazed a path since the late ‘90s as a home-recording guru and multi-instrumentalist. And, while Stoltz’s nigh-religious reverence for all things Beatles, Beach Boys and Kinks has been at the fore on recent albums Below the Branches, Sub Pop) and Circular Sounds, Sub Pop), his new album, To Dreamers, blends a bit more post-punk abandon into its layered everyman pop. This new album maintains the kaleidoscopic core of sounds heard on Kelley’s previous records, while making inroads into new sonic terrains.
No slouch on the live front, he was asked to open the Raconteurs first US tour in 2006, toured the USA and Europe with the Dirtbombs in 2008, and through a twist of volcano ash-cloud karma, was the support act to childhood heroes Echo and the Bunnymen, in 2010.
It’s not unreasonable to suggest that the entire reason behind music itself is to dream. From the young kid strumming a tennis racket along with the Ramones, to the box seats at the opera, the goal is the same. What music does and should do is allow us to lose ourselves and be transported, to find the mystical land where milk and honey meets Xanadu. See where you go with this new Kelley Stoltz record—an album of tunes oddly familiar and yet surprising, like a dream itself.
Released: October 12, 2010
Side One: Sonny & The Sunsets – ‘Heart Of Sadness’ / Fresh & Onlys – ‘You Owe Your Life To The Streets’ / Donovan Quinn & The 13th Month – ‘Mysteries’ / Sandwitches – ‘Grey Wizard’ / Thee Oh Sees – ‘Contraption’ / Dylan Shearer – ‘4 In The Morning House’ / Jacques Butters – ‘Baby Held’
Side Two: Kelley Stoltz – ‘Pinecone’ / Paula Frazer – ‘What Does It Take’ / Trainwreck Riders – ‘World Got Round’ / Tim Cohen –‘I Come Alive’ / Hannah & Raven (of Grass Widow) – ‘Beehive’ / Exray’s – ‘Everything Goes’ / Ty Segall – ‘Hey Big Mouth’
Released: May 25, 2010
Kelley Stoltz / Circular Sounds - SP748
Circular Sounds is the fourth LP from San Francisco’s home recording auteur Kelley Stoltz. Its 14 songs are a stereophonic advance on the lo-fidelity psych-fuzz of Antique Glow (Beautiful Happiness, 2004) and the mid-fi piano-rock of Below the Branches (Sub Pop, 2006): two modest masterpieces which, by a curious coincidence, both made #24 in MOJO magazine’s “Best Albums” list for their respective years. Kelley has also been praised by such esteemed publications as Uncut, Rolling Stone, Q, The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Time Out London, The Independent, and Ptolemaic Terrascope. In Australia he is a bona fide cult sensation, having scored a radio hit with “Underwater’s Where the Action Is” (off Antique Glow), while “Birdies Singing” (off Below the Branches) established him in Sweden after it was used to soundtrack a TV commercial for Volvo.
Circular Sounds is very much a pop record, in the classic ’60s mold. The horn-and-harmony-soaked romance suggesting Love covering “Good Day Sunshine” of “Everything Begins,” and the glorious, garage-psych dilation of “Your Reverie” are amongst the album’s 14 highlights. And these tracks boast Kelley’s fullest production to date: radio-ready yet retaining the organic warmth that gave his earlier work its character. He is no longer a marginal, ‘lo-fi’ artist: “I work in a second-hand record store and that’s made me more of a hi-fi advocate. It’s hard for me to listen to stuff that was recorded on a cassette player nowadays. By the last record I was mid-fi. I think I’m mid-hi now!”
Released: February 5, 2008
Kelley Stoltz / Below the Branches - SP674
San Francisco home-recording multi- instrumentalist Kelley Stoltz spent the better part of the past three years promoting and distributing his last album himself. “I finished Antique Glow in 2001, but found myself without a label when it was ready for release. So, being a vinyl nut, I decided to press up a couple hundred and, to save some money, painted all the covers myself. I sold them at shows and stores all around San Francisco. After that the record took on a life of its own.” And, this life of its own involved an eventual domestic CD release on San Francisco’s Jackpine Social Club, as well as considerable UK press attention. Antique Glow garnered a 4-star review and a “Mojo Rising” feature in MOJO magazine, as well as critical praise in Ptolemaic Terrascope, Uncut, Record Collector, and on BBC6 radio. At year’s end Antique Glow was ranked #24 in MOJO‘s “40 Best Albums of 2004,” described as, "a time capsule only recently discovered…a jamboree grab-bag of delights filled with everything from psychedelic folk and cosmic troubadour pop to garage-rock and lysergic r&b…one of the year’s major finds." Kelley’s new album, Below the Branches, picks up where Antique Glow left off, combining psych rock, folk, blues and pop in its 13 tracks, exploring new, piano-driven directions as well. It’s an album of improvisational pop, alchemically blending influences with results that are both timeless and new. Kelley and his band (Sean Coleman, Kevin Ink, Shayde Sartin, and John Hofer) will tour extensively with the release of Below the Branches.
Released: 2006-01-24 (CD), 2006-02-07 (LP), 2006-02-07 (MP3s)
Kelley Stoltz / Antique Glow - JSC004
Originally a self–released, vinyl-only album with hand-painted sleeves, this, Kelley’s second album, was released on the Jackpine Social Club label. Antique Glow is a stunner, blending folkish panache with an alt.country aesthetic that at times sounds like Will Oldham, at others like early Pavement, yet able to dip into instrumental droplets of tinkling piano and untreated found sounds. Varied and hugely engaging, the album traipses from a motoric Velvets chug, some sublime Nick Drake-esque folk, a spaced-out psychedelic wash and a British post-everything slant… all melded together by an 8-track mind and Spector-esque vision. It’s simply a killer.
Released: December 18, 2006
Kelley Stoltz / Crockodials - HAPP004CD
From Kelley: My version of an all-time personal favorite, Crocodiles by Echo & The Bunnymen. I recorded it the last week of 2001 – playing all of the instruments myself, and mostly from memory… I had air-drummed-air-guitar-lip-synched-long-enough…
Recorded to 8-track the last week of 2001.
Based upon Echo and the Bunnymen Crocodiles released July 1980. All instruments by Kelley Stoltz.
Released in 2005 by Beautiful Happiness Records.
Released: December 18, 2006