If there’s one constant rule in Nashville, where musical trends come and go each year, it’s that there’s nothing more important than the song. That’s the guiding principle of Bern Kelly’s new album, Lost Films, a record that deploys a sweeping array of styles, from power-pop to plaintive folk & reverb-washed Americana, all in service of that eternal truism: The song comes first.
Recorded with an array of the town’s brightest studio pros, including producer Patrick Damphier (The Arcs, Tim Easton, TheMynabirds), steel-guitar legend Russ Pahl (Dan Auerbach, Patty Griffin, Miranda Lambert), drummer Jon Radford (Steelism, Lily Hiatt, Leigh Nash) and bassist Travis Vance, Kelly’s latest record is a community-minded effort, the result of his decade-long tenure as a singer/songwriter in Nashville.
Kelly’s influences come through loud and clear on Lost Films’ ten songs, from the gruff Josh Ritter & Bruce Springsteen-channeling album opener “Unsold” to his gorgeous country-folk duet with Thirty Tigers artist Elise Davis on “Garage Sale,” a tune that recalls Ryan Adams’ Whiskeytown-era duets with Caitlin Cary. It’s an eclectic album, shifting from swooping Marshall Crenshaw guitar hooks to Mark Kozelek-inspired gothic-noir sketches. Elsewhere, Kelly draws from Jeff Buckley and Elliott Smith—in particular, the dreamy, introspective ballad “Forever Alone”—and he stretches out on the exploratory “Madeline Street,” a meandering, seven-minute epic that Kelly considers one of the proudest moments of his recording career… READ MORE