Kelly McFarling makes songs for long drives and fault lines. Born in Atlanta and based in the Bay Area, McFarling gives weight to wistfulness and renders the small and ordinary in ultra-vivid color. With a sound that moves between folk, rock, and alt-country, McFarling’s vocals are the constant: warm, assured, often breathtakingly strong.
Deep the Habit (March 2021), McFarling’s latest, captures the freewheeling feel of live shows with her band. Sparked by the idea of a feminine take on JJ Cale or Dire Straits, McFarling’s contribution to that corner of the canon infuses it with softness and vulnerability. There are hooks with just enough pop-sheen to conjure Stevie Nicks or even Pat Benetar; but we also get threads of more modern alt-country and indie-folk, like Hiss Golden Messenger or Molly Sarlé.
King Dream is an indie psych-rock project from Bay Area songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jeremy Lyon. With a soulful voice, roots planted in the golden era of California psychedelia, and a wry energy that places him firmly in the 21st century, Lyon charts a path through timeless themes: disillusionment with oneself, with adulthood, with one’s country — and the discovery, time and again, that somehow there’s still plenty worthy of a love song.
Lyon, a Bay Area native, previously co-founded the folk-rock band Tumbleweed Wanderers, who toured the country for five years before disbanding in 2016. Inspired by songwriters like Jim James, Jonathan Wilson and Blake Mills, Lyon spent the next two years questioning and reinventing himself — and, thanks to his vocal ability and versatility, soon became one of the most in-demand sidemen in the Bay. Playing with different bands, he picked up a few things: new instruments and arrangement techniques; a love of darker textures and moody, atmospheric sounds on electric guitar. And then an invaluable collaborator- producer: Lyon credits Graham Patzner of Whiskerman with helping to shape and carry the new project from idea to reality.