Intimate, authentic, and playful, Lora Kelley’s whimsical songwriting is found in Charlottesville, Virginia, where she currently resides.
Married to Eric Kelley (a wedding photographer) and raising two kids, they welcomed their third child into the world and celebrated their 11th anniversary right as 2020 came along. As the pandemic started, Kelley and her family were uncertain about how to make a living as she explained to American Songwriter. It brought up the question of who they are when their work is halted and they’re in the middle of a disruption.
They decided to sell their home, and move in with Kelley’s mom until the pandemic settled down, but there was a moment that left her feeling disoriented. She described it to Pressed PR, saying, “One morning, after sleeping at my mother’s house, I woke up confused as to where I was. For a minute, I was back in time waking up in our old house, the morning light pouring sideways through the blinds. It felt like an alternate timeline and that many pre-pandemic memories only exist in that in-between space of waking and sleeping.” It soon became clear to her that there was no going back to the way life used to be, which is how her latest single was born.
“Waking Dream” captures an ethereal and soothing pop essence with raw and laid-back acoustics. Her velvety and light vocals sing of the unknown and questions that come along with change, just like the evolving seasons and scenery shown in the new music video.
It sweetly takes you through the ideas and people that had an impact on the song. The chorus sings, “Take my hand we can’t go back to where we were, but if I close my eyes I can see you standing there/And that first house with the screen door, leaning in and whispering to me, I’ll see you inside this waking dream”. It’s a comforting reminder that we’re all going through this together and we can take each other’s hand to move forward into new seasons of our lives. In the midst of uncertainty, all we can do is help each other press on.
Her debut EP, Dusty Wheels, was released in 2015, as a calming alternative-folk five song collection that sweeps you up into a cloud of dreams.
Following in 2018, “Both Hands” became her first single release, painting beautiful scenes of a simpler life and memories of a serene world to escape to. Her debut EP, Lora Kelley, then released a few months later, with “Creeping In” as the lighthearted single of the heartfelt and lively project. With a festive holiday single then releasing towards the end of last year, the fun single “Snow Day” reminds us of all the things there are to love about the cold weather.
Discovering the space between a younger self and old age, Kelley’s upcoming album, Domystique, is set to release in the spring. Whether writing from a childlike perspective or from ideas in growing up and aging, she brings her own experiences of beauty and loss to her songwriting, with gentle acoustics and textures weaving their way throughout.