Singer, songstress and guitarist Sara Jean Kelley explores existential emotions related to life, death, transformation, rebirth, strength, and resilience on her sophomore EP Black Snake with its release on November 19th. Recorded in two days, the album’s six originals feature ethereal vocals, twangy and confident guitar with questioning yet observational lyrics. The EP was produced by Kyle Dreaden, and it will be celebrated with a live performance on November 20th at State Gallery in Nashville.
“Everything about this EP was intentional,” says the songwriter. “From the order of the songs, to the release strategy, to every sound and instrument. We approached every moment and every sound with thoughtfulness and excitement. My producer and I had conversation after conversation about who Snake is and how she would make her way through each song and what that will sound and feel like. In as much as we thought about each sound and song individually, we thought about the project as a whole and how each moment would lead to the next and each song would connect to the previous and the next.”
A river beneath a river with an edgy sense of humor, Sara is an explorer, a rescuer, naturalist, and an active member of her creative community. Born and raised by the venerable bluegrass songwriter Irene Kelley, she loves wild plants and animals and music and people and has the scars and stories to prove it. Sara’s songs are conceptual, yet relatable. Her voice is timeless, yet singularly her own. And her delivery can shift, like the weather, from dark and sultry, to light-as-a-feather.
From Black Snake, ABS is proud to premiere “Rains in Montana,” echoing the clear and gorgeous singing style of Emmylou Harris, whose voice has complemented Rodney Crowell’s — both of whom Sara has shared the stage with. Of this alluring and ruminative track, she tells us:
I wrote “Rains in Montana” after driving for 2 straight days to escape Nashville. I woke up in this beautiful place ready to take on the day, and it was raining. It was a crude and much-needed reminder that there’s nothing you can do to escape yourself and it “rains everywhere,” so to speak. This song is a gentle reminder to myself to slow down, have faith that things will work out and be patient with the process.