Philadelphia singer-songwriter Taylor Kelly has returned a stunning new single, “JWTYK,” that speaks to the pain and possibility of breakup. Kelly was highlighted by The Key in 2017 in “Items Tagged Philadelphia,” a series in which we shout out the best Bandcamp new releases that are tagged #philadelphia. Her new single is as strong (or stronger) than her previous releases and establishes Kelly as a brassy, mystical, soulful force to be reckoned with in the Philly music scene.
Kelly is originally from Rochester, NY but her sound is rooted in glamorous jazz club scene of New York City, Chicago, or Philadelphia. “JWTYK” — or “Just Want You To Know,” if you’re not into the whole brevity thing — tells the story of a relationship that has reached its end. Without shying away from the pain of a romantic ending, Kelly spins a tune that is both honest and optimistic about the process of moving from one chapter of life to another. Her voice echoes that of Eryn Allen Kane, Lianne La Havas, or the indomitable Cecile McLorin Salvant, while her songwriting is all her own.
Lyrics like “You made it so damn easy to be loving you / but I lost my head somewhere / And had to find the truth” are emblematic of Kelly’s complex story telling. This isn’t a “I’m better without you” song or a “please come back” song. It lives in the murky gray area in between conviction and regret that is far more accurate to the lived experience of leaving someone you once loved. Kelly says it best, “I’ve set you free /Just want you to know / I’m there.”
While her light, yet sure-fire vocals take center stage, Kelly is backed by bright guitar rhythms, full bodied brass, and joyful keys. If you like Taylor Kelly’s “JWTYK,” you’re in for a treat because she is set to release a full length album called Up, Up And Away in August. Until then, keep an eye on her Facebook page, see her live at Bourbon and Branch tomorrow (more info here) and listen up on as many of her soul, jazz, electro pop beats as you can find.