Simon Kelly is a singer, guitarist and producer from Perth, Western Australia who has created a highly original blend of percussive psychedelic pop, reggae, rootsy folk, and bluesy ska.
Simon is a veteran of the Perth music scene, his first band Wasted Youth toured the country with Suicidal Tendencies, played the Big Day Out and released an album before even graduating high school. When Wasted Youth inevitably disbanded Simon toured Australia and The Torres Straight Islands in a circus, completed an Arts degree and moved to his family’s farm in the South West, where he renovated and lived in the old shearer’s quarters. The solitary life served Simon well, finding time between feeding cows and watering the garden to record his first solo album.The album received enough positive attention to convince Simon to move back to Perth where he has since recorded another 5 albums and taken his music to some of the biggest festivals in Australia such as Peats Ridge, The Big Day Out and Southbound.
In 2010 Simon was a stand out performer at the Japan Music Week festival and was invited by the promoters to return in 2011. 2011 also saw the release of Simon Kelly’s album ‘New Horizons’. The album was praised by critics accross Australia, with Drum Media stating the album contains “some of the best tracks we have heard from any Aussie artist this year”.
Simon’s music has also been recognised in United States with 9 songs licenced to US prime time tv shows, including The Ghost Whisperer, 90210, Happy Endings and One Tree Hill. In 2013 Simon returned to his DIY roots and released the 8 track album ‘Ride On’, producing and recording everything himself with help from his band The Big Bamboo and friends. Ride On also featured guest vocals from Ian Ball from Mercury Award winning UK band Gomez.
In 2016 Simon released ‘The Secret Dreams Of Skeletor Jones’, a 6 track mini-album featuring performances from friends and collaborators from all corners of the globe. The album was mixed in Tokyo and mastered Montreal and is a truly world class production. The album was packaged with a 16 page gloss magazine entitled ‘The Dangerous Times” which served as a companion piece to the album. ‘The Dangerous Times’ is a fascinating blend of fictional and non fictional news stories, lyrics, advertisements, reviews and profiles that relate to the themes and characters from the album.
Simon is nothing if not prolific and in 2017 released a digital only album called ‘B-Sides and Versions’, which as the title suggests, was made up of cover songs by The Beatles and Haim, remixes of Simon’s own work and remixed versions of other artists. The album is yet another unpredictable and sublime collection from one of Australia’s “best kept secrets in music”
“Kelly is a man defying convention, setting his beat driven acoustic balladry to the hypnotic sway of the Caribbean, but coating it with lush, whisper like vocals. Kelly is unlike any other singer songwriter Australia (at least) has seen”. Xpress Magazine.
“Kelly delivers some of the best tracks we’ve heard from any Aussie artist this year.” Drum Media (The Music)
“Kelly has adopted a husky whisper as his vocal trademark, similar to that of the Beta Band or Syd Barrett during his ‘Madcap Laughs’ phase. His playing is positively psychedelic in places, but always with a folky feel and an almost ethereal after taste.” www.thescene.com.au
“Whatever is in the water in Fremantle, it has spawned another Australian roots guru in Simon Kelly” Drum Media (The Music)
“This is an album that screams to be appreciated; one for someone to pull out and listen to when they want inspiration, when they want to create some top vibes or just when they want to listen to something genuine.
The question I’m asking now is whether or not Simon Kelly is Australia’s best kept secret in music?” Global Thunder Network
HI RES MEDIA