Kelly Oliver

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Kelly is officially releasing her 2nd album Bedlam on vinyl on 30th October.
You can buy the album, on cd or vinyl using this link :

Award runner up for Bedlam Folk Phenomena

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Awards runner up Bedlam folkwords

Congratulations to Kelly for winning an award at the NMG’s for a second year in a row. in 2015 she was thrilled to receive the Best Solo Female award but on Friday 14th October she eclipsed this with the Breakout Award. Given to the act who has made the most impact in the national arena, and her BBC One performance as well as her ITV news feature, her 12 plays on BBC Radio 2 contributed to her impact. Whispering Bob Harris very kindly sent a personal congratulations video which you can see here

Feature in Welwyn Hatfield Times, courtesy of Alan Davies

Kelly was invited to perform her song RIO live on BBC One’s Sunday Morning Live Show. Social media went mad and Welwyn Hatfield Times documented the reaction. On the same day Radio 2 played her track on Clare Balding’s Good Morning Sunday show at 8.50am
Exciting times :)
You can read all about Kelly’s first national TV performance by clicking here

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You can see the ITV news item and a clip of the video by clicking here

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You can read the full FATEA review of Cambridge by clicking here

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“an amazing young songwriter” Mike Harding

“ a vital voice in British Folk…. a beautiful, pure ’ Bob Harris BBC Radio 2

“fabulously gifted, something special” Chris Hawkins, BBC 6 Music

“There was a fine support set from the promising young singer-guitarist Kelly Oliver, an artist who blends traditional values with hints of a bold, indie-pop sensibility” The Times

“getting on everyone’s radar’ Spiral Earth

“ an exceptional lyricist” Penny Black Magazine

“a striking degree of artistic and musical unity” Folk and Roots

“a remarkable acoustic folk singer and songwriter” FolkAll

“ A gifted and talented songwriter” FolkWords

“This really is a superb album, likely to be in the Folk album of the year lists” ShireFolk

“crosses musical boundaries, full of thought provoking lyrics & musical arrangement’ Folk Radio UK

“a remarkable voice” FATEA

Second album BEDLAM released 6th March 2016.

  • 10 plays on BBC Radio 2 – by Bob Harris, Mark Radcliffe’s The Folk Show and Alex Lester’s After Midnight show, also 3 plays on BBC Radio 6 Music on Chris Hawkins show and two national plays across the 40 stations within the BBC regional network
  • Bedlam review in Essential New Releases in Sunday Times Culture Magazine – 6th March 2016
  • Emerging Excellence Award from Help Musicians UK to fund the recording and manufacture of her debut album This Land
  • 4* review from The Telegraph for This Land which then joined their top albums of the year selection
  • Album of the Year from Folkwords for This Land
  • NMG Award for Best Solo Female Artist
  • Music Week Playlist for Miles to Tralee w/c 2nd Nov

Kelly Oliver, 25, lives in Hertfordshire and comes from a working class non musical family. In fact, she didn’t even realise there was a folk scene until a couple of years ago. It was only after Hitchin Folk Club invited her to perform at respected Cambridge Folk Festival, that she realised that she had fallen on her feet.

While travelling in Brazil early in 2013, Kelly decided that on her return she would pursue a career as a singer, performing her own songs, which up til that point had not had a public airing. It would seem that this was the right decision for Kelly who is widely recognised as ‘A vital voice in British Folk’ according to Whispering Bob Harris who has also said that her voice is ‘beautiful and pure’. Not only has Bob played her five times on his show, but has interviewed her for the family run ‘Under the Apple Tree’ sessions at his home in Oxfordshire, and booked her for his inaugural Under the Apple Tree Roots Festival at the end of May 2016.

The BBC Radio 2 Folk Show have also got on board with support – have now played the last four successive releases from Kelly. Arguably the largest amount of plays from a non award winning artist on the show during the previous twelve months.

Kelly was tour support for Thea Gilmore and recently supported Barbara Dickson. Kelly has duetted with Luke Jackson, Will Pound, Ciaran Algar, Lukas Drinkwater and Dave Swarbrick, who had this to say about the young performer “Kelly has the vocal skills and an exquisite voice to boot. For one so young to have such a grasp of life’s travails is unusual, I like Kelly Oliver’s approach to the present and the past and I predict a glittering future for her”

Kelly is widely regarded as a ‘rising star’ and is unusual in that she plays guitar and Harmonica (is sponsored by Hohner). She brings ‘folk’ right up date. She write songs reflecting true stories from her family as well as those concerning emotional observations, as can be seen in the selection of videos below.

Kelly was a live guest on London Live TV three times this year plus guest on Mustard TV in Norwich and Hitchin TV, Herts.

She has performed live on over 26 BBC Radio shows across the country and was played on Mark Forrest’s show recently, and interviewed live on his evening show which is broadcast across all 40 regional BBC stations.

Kelly’s single Miles to Tralee opened the latest Folkstock compilation cd which was again reviewed in The Sunday Times. This included a special mention for Kelly and her latest album received a glowing review in Sunday Times Culture Magazine.

Sunday Times culture Bedlam review

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New single RIO coming out on July 29th as exclusively previewed on BBC Radio 2 thanks to Alex Lester

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You can watch the video on Louder Than War by clicking here

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“I rarely hear a folk artist being championed outside the specialist press, those you do are usually well established within their niche. Once in a blue moon I hear something worth sharing and Kelly’s music is just that. I’m unsurprised that she’s managed to get sponsorship from the likes of Hohner with her high and sweet voice and poignant and traditional storytelling style.” Tom Day XSNoize
You can read the XSNoize feature by clicking here


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“Just occasionally, on the first listen, a voice or a piece of music makes me stop and listen immediately and Kelly Oliver’s voice has just had such an effect on me…She has been described as blending traditional values with bold Indie pop sensibility. The album is a superb mix of modern and traditional folk and works incredibly well, due mainly to the quality of the writing and that amazing voice.” Rory Stanbridge
You can read the FATEA review by clicking here

Folkwords review

“Kelly Oliver writes songs that touch you deep inside, cause eyes to water and hearts to rise. The songs on ‘Bedlam’ will remain by your side long after the album has finished” Tim Carroll, Folkwords. Tim then went on to proclaim Bedlam ALBUM OF THE MONTH.
You can read the Folkwords review by clicking here
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Really thrilled that Kelly is Featured Album of the Month in Folk Radio UK.
You can read the really interesting and indepth review in FRUK by Helen Gregory here
You can read an interview with Kelly in Essentially pop magazine by clicking here

“Ultimately BEDLAM comes across as a precision measured piece of work, delicately balancing all the input variables to create a record gift wrapped for the listener. The challenge to buy into the talents of Kelly Oliver will not be too difficult for fans of folk and roots music far and wide. The opportunity also exists for her youthful enthusiasm and approach to widen the pool of inclusion.”
You can read the Three Chords and the Truth review by clicking here


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“One of the first significant folk releases out of the blocks in 2016…I’ve no doubt that it’s going to generate a heap of interest from folk fans and commentators alike….this album is a triumph. Its inevitable success is thoroughly deserved” Rob Bridge Redwood
To read the review by Rob Bridge, please click here

“The more you listen to ‘Bedlam’ the more it becomes obvious that Kelly an exceptionable lyricist…Currently on tour promoting the album, 2016 is shaping up to be the year Kelly Oliver breaks through” Malcolm Carter, Penny Black Music

To read the review by Penny Black Music, please click here

“achieves a striking degree of artistic (and musical) unity through the consistency of her songwriting in tandem with her delivery of the material – and of course, the rather distinctive singing voice with which she’s blessed. This latter feature will probably be that which grabs one’s attention at the outset, although a further strong feature of Kelly’s writing is undoubtedly her gift for melody allied to a keen indie-folk sensibility which nevertheless carries a certain underlying resonance of folk tradition” David Kidman, Folk and Roots

To read the review in Folk and Roots, please click here

“What an absolute treat the new album from Kelly Oliver is. It is at once bouncy, thoughtful, familiar (to those of us who have listened to Kelly’s previous work) and different.The whole has a feeling of freshness and innovation with Kelly’s beautiful and distinctive voice and her interesting story telling..The accomplished writing, stunning vocals and excellent production. I could talk on about the rest of the album but that could never convey the impact of it the way a simple first listen can” Liz Franklin, Radio Teesdale

“Female artists are leading the charge-showing huge passion, fortitude and innovation. Among the most talked-about and promising is Kelly Oliver. An artist who has made huge strides in a couple of years, this year will see her rise through the ranks and come to prominence….The likes of Oliver is a much-needed breath of fresh air that is going to have a stunning 2016. Bedlam is the sound of a young woman who very much has her sights set on long-term success. With so few sound-alike acts out there, she stands alone: a wonderful young musician that is going to be a festival favourite in years to come..already as strong and assured as some of Acoustic-Folk’s best names- Laura Marling and The Staves- the British treasure is someone with a very bright future ahead of her. Her lyrics are more borderline-genius than ever.. hugely impressive & mature..she stands as one of the greatest songwriters in the country” Sam Liddicott

Please click here to read the full album review which starts with track review of Miles to Tralee from Sam Liddicott at Musicmusingsandsuch

To read the review from Tony Wilding in Toneranger please click here

Here’s some footage : Seen here is Kelly Oliver singing a song about her grandfather being a stoker on a ship (from her debut album This Land), which has legendary Dave Swarbrick on fiddle

Here’s a song filmed at the Big Comfy Sessions in Coventry about the last official witch trial in the uk – which happens to have been about a witch who lived in my village!

Here’s a song about Kelly’s grandmother who came over from Ireland, which is on her second album Bedlam


Bedlam has being going down well with radio stations too, with all four of these shows featuring the album before 5th Jan 2016.

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Sketches in Travel part 1

You can read the feature about Kelly Oliver and recording her album with Lauren Deakin Davies, in Sketches in Travel by clicking here


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To read more about Kelly’s career please click here

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