Liverpool-based solo artist Abi Rose Kelly offers a no-nonsense, relatable slacker grunge and indie rock sound that she describes as “rustic, real and fresh.” It’s an approach that’s gaining Abi a growing reputation, which was confirmed by being listed for the 2020 Glastonbury Emerging competition.
However, it wasn’t necessarily always on the cards for Abi to take her music quite so seriously. As Abi tells us: “When I started writing songs, they were mostly for other people as a joke. So when the opportunity arose to do a gig, it just felt more natural to stay as a solo artist.”
She’s certainly taken things beyond simply playing a gig, releasing three diverse singles within the last couple of years. The latest of those is Kill The Waitress, which was released early last month. It opens up with fun stabbing guitars that drop into a laid-back verse of echoey vocals over light guitars and cymbals, which kick into a driving drumbeat. It builds up with stabbing guitars and drawn-out vocals, which flow into a big singalong chorus.
A second chorus ends on the opening stabbing guitars, which give way to repeats of echoey cries of the chorus vocals. The guitars and drums kick back in for a lively outro that ends with Abi hitting a big high note.
On the track, Abi says: “Kill the Waitress is a song about how angry I am with facing the
same angry people every day, and how I view my life in general, coming to terms with being
miserable and getting on with it. No self pity here, we’re all human.
“I was buzzing for people to hear this tune to be honest. I felt like the other two songs weren’t as personal to me but Kill The Waitress is about me and a situation that I was in. The anxiety of a song so close to me being out there and the excitement of people hearing it was a good muster of emotions.”
That follows the funky, laid-back Polaroids & Violence, which begins with light guitars, a smash of stabbing guitars then a mellow opening verse “You got them burnt lips, high kicks, Polaroids and violence, Seeing blue and red, But all I’m hearing is the sirens, Hard to fall asleep, When you’re hiding from the lions.” The last line builds up with stabbing guitars, drops into a second verse, then flows into a delicious chorus.
A cool driving guitar riff suddenly kicks in as it launches into a faster section of more intense vocals “But were you drunk? And did you lie? And you can run, And you can hide.” Check it out in the video here:
Both of those tracks follow delicious debut single James’ Corsa, which opens up with a fun descending guitar intro that continues under Abi’s laid-back vocals. The drums pick up pace as the song develops with deliciously delivered higher-pitched vocals “She’s too young to feel older, You haven’t won you can’t hold her, I bite my tongue ’til this is over, You haven’t won or so I told you.”
That flows into a melodic, atmospheric, singalong chorus “Open your eyes can’t you see, What they’re doing to me, Open your heart let it bleed, Don’t be so naïve, Open your eyes, Rosie.” A second chorus drops into a dreamy section of light guitars and drawn-out vocals, which flow into more intense vocals, which flow into repeats of the chorus vocals to bring the track to a close. Give it a listen here and be prepared for it to be stuck in your head for hours:
On what inspires her music, Abi tells us: “Anything can inspire me to write a tune. Me and my dad have written a lot of songs in the past, I think anything can be a song really. I try and be truthful in my songs of who I am and how I’m feeling, so hopefully people can see that.”
There’s plenty more to come from Abi Rose Kelly, who already has an idea in the works for her debut EP. But, as she says: “Obviously with the current state of the world it’s been pretty hard to plan anything, but we’re getting there.”