Just Barelys Just Barelys

This is an album of honest, slightly skewed bedroom pop made by a rural Nova Scotian who was probably a bit twisted by growing up in Hamilton, ON. Stephen Kelly (with a cast of contributors) pulls together songs that are simple yet very unconventional, as banjos, cellos, castanets, flutes and off kilter beats appear at different times in the crafting of these tunes. Kelly spent a few years in the early to mid-'90s in the temperamental Hamilton indie rock trio Kate Beckett, a band that was rough around the edges, very lo-fi, slightly warped, switched instruments every other song or so, but produced some real song gems. Of the three members, Stephen seemed to be the most sensitive, and perhaps the most unintentionally slanted, lyrically. Those elements are still evident, as he has moved on to solo endeavours, the songs at their base are approachable pop, yet they are layered in peculiarity. (Dead Bum)