kelefleming
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kelefleming

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 1991 | INDIE

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | INDIE
Established on Jan, 1991
Solo Pop Singer/Songwriter

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Music

Press


101.9FM CiTR’s Queer FM with Aedan Saint – October 10, 2010 - CiTR 101.9 FM


102.7FM CFRO Co-op Radio’s Fruit Salad with Aedan Saint - CFRO Co-op 102.7 FM


March 25, 2010. Remember the early ’90s? Brian Mulroney, You Can’t Do That on Television and a wave of serious, crafty Canadian indie pop. Lesbians might remember a powerful little pop outfit called Hazel Motes, fronted by a righteous dyke. Kele (pronounced “Kelly”) Fleming gave up on the artist’s life in 1998, but now she’s back with a straight-up rock album, World in Reverse, and a tour that lands in Toronto at Slacks (April 8) and the Tranzac (April 10). - Xtra Toronto


October 24, 2010. Don’t let the ambiguous name fool ya ’cause Kele’s a she and she’s got the kind of powerful high ululating voice that, in my world, would be screamin’ out maximum amped rock ’n’ roll just like Grace Slick used to do—so you can imagine just how expressive and impressive Kele sounds singing her own insightfully sensitive songs from behind an acoustic guitar. - Jeffrey Morgan


April 6, 2010. Denis Marchand writes that the new album is "plaintive, political and poetic, they’re songs that ring with a social conscience. " - Ottawa Citizen


October 15, 2010: Francois Marchand picks Kele Fleming's Vancouver CD Release Concert as one of the weekend concert picks. Concert-goers should expect an evening of music full of Fleming's signature wit and social commentary. - Vancouver Sun Newspaper


October 19, 2010: Alex Varty writes review of new album, World in Reverse, that Kele Fleming is serious about pop.
It’s an ambitious project, but Fleming feels that popular music is mature enough to address complex themes. “I guess my approach to the pop song is that I want it to be more than a simple pop song,” she says. “I love the genre of pop because it’s so accessible and approachable, and I feel that if I’m tackling some of the more serious issues that we all face in the world we live in, it’s a good way to deliver it. Maybe more people will be able to hear it that way.”
- Georgia Straight


October 13, 2010. Tom Harrison writes "There was a time, about 20 years ago, when Fleming did have rock-star aspirations. She was leader of Hazel Motes, which was a kind of merger of folk and rock. In retrospect, Hazel Motes didn’t fit any mainstream mold. They were just too quirky and Fleming’s style too original and probably too intelligent to be successful on a superficial level." - Vancouver Province Newspaper


Discography

2010 - World in Reverse
2004 - Songs from the Tinforest
2000 - Sturgeon Love EP (with Hazel Motes)
1995 - 20th Century Monologue (with Hazel Motes)
1994 - Stand (with Hazel Motes, CBC Radio Nightlines Session)
1993 - Ragnarok EP (with Hazel Motes)
1992 - Eponymous EP (with Hazel Motes)

Photos

Bio

The Province once wrote of Kele Fleming that she “might have the most original songwriting style in Vancouver.”

Kele Fleming began writing her latest album, "World in Reverse", with the goal of creating a sonic novel. By the time she was done, she had created a sonic Ulysses, a series of vignettes that coalesce into a subtle social commentary.

Some songs are about lives ending just as they should be blossoming. Some are about the earth itself decaying through environmental damage. Others are about love affairs or life plans taking 180 degree turns. What makes the work stand out from other songs on similar topics is Fleming’s singular voice as a songwriter.

So talented is she that World’s lyric sheet alone reads like a work of starkly hard-hitting poetry. There’s no mistaking that “Crowsnest” and “Inescapable Jesus” are about murdered women – although the word is never uttered - or that “The Ladder” and “World in Reverse” are about environmental destruction.

For all the force of the songwriting, though, World is anything but whiney. The lyrics come to life through Fleming’s quirky musical sensibilities and range as a vocalist. Possessed of a powerful alto that at times recalls that of Grace Slick or Debbie Harry, Fleming can sweep from an angry growl to an ethereal high to a plaintive almost-whisper in seconds. Her melodies take unexpected twists and turns, and her creative phrasing fits the lyrics seamlessly inside them. And Gen Xers will appreciate the nods to 80s and 90s alternative pop in the production values. In fact, the occasional juxtaposition of serious subject matter against 80s-like elements is one of the album’s many peculiarly alluring qualities.

The arrangements also provide the side-stories to Fleming’s melodic main narratives. On “Crowsnest,” the rhythm guitar evokes the feeling of being on the open road. On “Hopeslide,” the cello helps one feel the character’s heartbreak. On “World in Reverse” the piano is the antidote to the melancholic message, the signal that there is still hope.

It all adds up to one of the most original recordings likely to be released this year.

Kele Fleming grew up in Vancouver, Nova Scotia, and Trenton, Ontario and began writing poetry as a child. She also sang and played guitar and French horn, but her interest in songwriting grew out of her love of literature.

She founded Hazel Motes while an English Lit student at the University of British Columbia and named it for the main character in Flannery O’Connor’s novel, Wise Blood. At its most active, in the early and mid 90s, the band toured Canada three times; played Bumbershoot, NXNE and Canadian Music Week; charted at college radio across Canada and the U.S.; and recorded a Nightlines session with CBC Radio’s David Wisdom. Along with acts like the Grapes of Wrath and Lava Hay, the ethereal roots-pop outfit was sometimes described as typifying the “Vancouver sound.”

In 1998, Fleming decided she was through with the life of a starving artist and returned to school to study web technology. She now divides her time between her art and her day job in educational technology – a job she says influences her music by empowering her to experiment with digital production techniques. Fortunately, Fleming’s tech job comes with some flexibility, meaning fans will get to check out the new project when she takes it on the road over the next six months (keep on an eye out for updates). In the constant sea of promising new voices hitting the stage, Fleming makes one appreciate the sophistication of a veteran performer.