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  • Jennifer Janz

JAMES KELLY - Hold Me Close

Few musicians can claim to have garnered a Grammy nomination while still in their twenties, but James Kelly is no ordinary musician;

He’s a multiskilled producer, songwriter, engineer, and, as can be heard on his new track, Hold Me Close, a vocalist with a distinctive and identifying voice.

The new single is taken from his second album, Sidewalk Hymns, which will no doubt go on to solidify his status as a rising modern rock artist.

The latest release comes in the wake of James’ smash debut album, Loose Talk(2020), which explored his battle with mental health and was recorded by James and Marc Urselli (U2, Lou Reed) and mixed by the legendary Michael Brauer (John Mayer, Coldplay, Rolling Stones). As James says about the new single, ‘Hold Me Close is, at its heart, a love song.

But it’s not all rainbows—the narrator is a bit broken, a bit damaged, and thoroughly in need of redemptive love.’ Hold Me Close has the kind of intro that creates anticipation and allure, previewing the guitar-based sonics of the track and the rock energy of the feel. It’s old school yet not, as James weaves a magical blend of hybrid mainstream rock further enhanced by a dynamic production. As James says about his songwriting, ‘Without question.

‘‘ Sidewalk Hymns will no doubt go on to solidify James Kelly's status as a rising modern rock artist.

My music is incredibly personal, autobiographical even. For example, my first album, Loose Talk, is all about my battle with bipolar disorder. On this record, Sidewalk Hymns, I’m diving deep into my religious upbringing, my parents’ divorce, and my current relationship. Without my own stories, I wouldn’t know where to begin telling stories to others.’

Based in New York City, James learnt the music production ropes under the guidance of John King, one half of the Dust Brothers production duo (Beastie Boys, Beck, Rolling Stones, Santana). With its multidimensional contemporary rock sound and superb vocal performance, Hold Me Close sets James Kelly’s music apart from the rest and is guaranteed to generate massive streaming numbers.



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