Singer/songwriter Kelley Swindall is known for being a little bit Lucinda, perhaps a bit of Patsy, and a dash of Dolly. As she releases the title track to her upcoming album, You Can Call Me Darlin’ If You Want (Velvet Elk Records), Swindall clearly demonstrates that she’s much more than a sum of those who have come before – the self-described “country cantadora” is blazing trails all her own.
Swindall didn’t start out with plans to be a country music star. The Atlanta, Georgia native moved to the bright lights of New York City to be a stage actress. A breakup and a heartbreak led to her writing a song to get revenge (a story that’s right out of a country song, itself) – and the rest is history.
The result is an album that’s full of honest songwriting that’s at once a raw journey through the ups and downs of life and love as it is a wildly exuberant joyride. Timeless and classic with an edge, each song feel as comforting as a vintage T-shirt while maintaining an exciting newness. Swindall deftly brings best elements of outlaw country and seasons them with vintage jazz and blues for a true roots experience.
“Darlin’” is a standout example of Swindall’s ability to skillfully walk that line, kicking off the song with a spoken-word warning that’s so Dolly-esque, listeners will find themselves doing an audio double-take. As she moves into the chorus, the song opens up in all directions – emotional barriers dropping, Swindall’s voice soaring, and the warm embrace of instruments and harmonies swirling as the love-for-the-moment anthem unfolds.
It’s a fitting title track to a debut album that shows off the many sides to this rising star who defies genres, even if she is quite a bit country. You might call Kelley Swindall “Darlin’,” but certainly don’t try and put her in a box.
Watch the video for “You Can Call Me Darlin’ If You Want To” here.
About Velvet Elk Records:
Velvet Elk is a humble and tiny independent record label, orbiting somewhere in the vicinity of the rock-history lush East Village of New York City. Originally founded by New York City Americana artist Don DiLego, he later joined forces with Jesse Malin and began signing some of the incredible acts from the East Village music scene, and beyond.
Their mission statement is: “To somehow seek and create, in the face of any use of common sense, a home for artists we love and who aren’t necessarily “definable”, and make a record label that lets them do the work that THEY want to do, at a time when NO ONE in their right mind would start a record label.