Kelly Sloan had never fully intended to become a musician… she never had it in her plans. But often, these things happen when you least expect them. As a child growing up in her hometown of Almonte, she was always singing, and was put into voice lessons by the age of 10. Her musical studies continued at the Royal Conservatory until university, where she left it all on the back burner to take International Development.
By 2008, she found herself dabbling inside that musical treasure chest she had pushed aside, drew from her influences, and began experimenting with composing her own songs on guitar and piano. By this time, she had spent several years in Halifax, where she had access to a studio. It was here she recorded her first two albums, Always Changes (2008), and Kelly Sloan (2010). Both albums display her wide array of influences in songs like, “Hurricane”, with its flowing folk/country Emmylou Harris quality, to the catchy 60’s vintage pop flavour of songs, “You Got Me”, and “Hard Times”. Her pure and pretty vocals, edged in soft vibrato, breathe delicately through the music with wonderfully written melodies through her instrumentation.
“I have a lot of influences from different genres. I grew up listening to the great singers like Ella Fitzgerald and Aretha Franklin, as well as folk influences like Joan Baez. But I also enjoy some heavy psychedelic stuff too, like T. Rex… so I’m a weird mix for sure.”
Now residing in Ottawa, she has recently returned from a week-long stay in Halifax, where she went back to record her third upcoming album, facilitated through the support of a successful fundraising show held in her hometown of Almonte. Ottawa guitarist and long-time friend, Curtis Chaffey (The Split), who occasionally performs with Sloan at her shows, also appears on the album.
“This new album is also varied like the other two… you can hear my different influences. There’s some 60’s pop/Phil Spector stuff, French folk…it’s interesting sounding. There’s a couple of tracks that have less instrumentation and focus more on vocals and the delivery of the lyrics. We took seven days including mixing… guitar, bass, drums, keys, and some synth. It was incredibly fast and required the musicians to be very good. I had taken a lot of time to improve my songwriting, and so with the musicians and producer that I had involved in the new album, I really tried to aim high. I‘m so pleased that I did… they were so fantastic, and I really think it‘ll showcase the development in the new songs.“
Kelly Sloan will be performing an upcoming solo show during this month’s Marvest, which is an off-shoot series of performances created by CityFolk. Marvest will feature over 60 local acts during the festival, and take place inside various shops, venues, and storefronts along the Glebe area of Bank St., as well as inside the Aberdeen Pavilion on the festival site. Kelly will be appearing along with the MATT Dorgan PROJECT, and Moonfruits, as part of Apt613’s curated showcase at Original Burger Joint, 873 Bank St., on Fri. Sept. 18 @ 10pm.