Kiely Connell is preparing to release her debut LP, ‘Calumet Queen’, a ten-track collection that combines breezy indie-folk with heavy swamp rock & roadhouse country twang. Today’s song ‘Blues That Really Burn’ is one of the album’s less breezy tunes, dealing with a punch in the guts that is a depressive turn. “Well my body feels so heavy but it can’t outweigh my mind” confesses Kiely Connell, before pleading for a return to stability “when will I reclaim the strength I fought so hard to earn? When will I be the woman I once was?” These blues are not some jolly rock song with a snappy guitar solo, this is the pain of being forced to crawl by your own damn brain. Connell’s vocal is aching and breaking.
As Kiely Connell explains, these songs haven’t just come from nowhere: “a lot of the songs on this album are about overcoming my struggles with depression and anxiety, but it’s also a collection of stories about self-medicating with alcohol, and things I’d been observing in people close to me.” It’s hard to credit that ‘Calmut Queen‘ is a debut, Connell really delivers a song, and the songs are full of grit and no little determination.