Singer songwriter Simon Kelly's repetitious rootsy poetry has drawn comparisons to Paul Simon and JJ Cale with subtle African and reggae rhythms.
Xpress Magazine writes “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".
Rip it Up magazine says “With his acoustic guitar-driven brand of mellow pop, Simon Kelly could be Australia’s answer to Jack Johnson. His solo debut mini-album, has some real gems'
Simon is one of the most talked about acts in the thriving Fremantle roots scene. He has toured with Blue King Brown, Ash Grunwald, Kate Miller-Heidke and The Audreys and has supported Lior, Jeff Martin, Serena Ryder, Bob Evans and many other national and international touring acts. He has also performed at festivals across Australia, including Peats Ridge, Fairbridge, Bridgetown Blues, Southbound and the Big Day Out.
Kelly cut his teeth playing in teen rock band Wasted Youth who supported the likes of Silverchair, You Am I, The Cruel Sea, Bad Religion and The Cramps, played The Big Day Out twice and toured Australia with Suicidal Tendencies all by the age of 19. A lifestyle move from the city to the country after finishing a bachelor of arts degree provided a time for reflection and a backdrop for playing and developing his acoustic guitar stylings. During this time Kelly also managed to tour Australia with the Circus providing an interesting mix of life experiences and observations from which to draw inspiration from.
After spending a couple of years playing various rural pubs and taverns in the Southern corner of Western Australia, Kelly reconnected with Ross Stewart from Embryo Records who heard a track on local ABC radio while holidaying in the area. A few phone calls later and some studio sessions were organized with the outcome being seven inspiring tracks of mellow southern roots infused with subtle reggae undertones - simple yet brilliant. His self titled debut mini album was produced by acclaimed producer HiRO? at Ampersonic Studio and the single ‘Train’ received airplay on Triple J and high rotation on numerous community radio stations across Australia.
Simon released his debut full length album in 2007 called 'Tribal Astronaut'. The album was recorded by industry veteran Jeremy Allom, who has worked with names such as Bjork, Massive Attack and David Bowie and features performances from some of Western Australia’s best musicians, including Shaun Sibbes (Eskimo Joe, Sneaky Sound System), Alex Archer (Kill Devil Hills), and Ben Franz (the Waifs).
Simon has toured the east coast multiple times and is an engaging solo performer, using a loop pedal incorporating percussion and guitar loops to create a full sound that is not out of place on bills with full bands..
Simon Kelly’s music has also featured in several US prime time tv shows including Cane, Samantha Who and Army Wives and he has composed the score to a feature film (Uneven Ground) that is currently screening at film festivals across the world and contains many original songs performed by the Simon Kelly Band..
Simon has recently completed a new album with Tokyo based Canadian producer Alan Brey. The album will be released in early 2009 and features a more edgier sound combined with his unique voice and lush unusual harmonies. The first single was placed on spot rotation on Triple J and has received airplay from community stations around Australia.