Kelcy Mae


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August 1, 2018

Songwriter, Kelcy Mae, Premieres New Project: Ever More Nest, Announces Debut Release, ‘The Place That You Call Home’

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Ever More Nest is a new music project from New Orleans-based songwriter Kelcy Mae, who traveled to Tennessee, experienced totality, met her spirit guide, and made a record. A band with an unmistakable Americana tilt, Ever More Nest pairs Kelcy’s signature poetic lyricism with a musical style that can set you simultaneously on a rural dirt road and a gritty, big-city street. The name ‘Ever More Nest’ was drawn from a line in a poem by Mary Ann Samyn, which Kelcy found striking in its ability to evoke both a nostalgia for and a sinking displeasure with space and time. The project’s debut record, The Place That You Call Home, is likewise obsessed with the idea of place, from the fallen trees of “North Mississippi” to the infinite stars of “Major Tom.”

“These songs are an exploration of relationships, and, more specifically, my relationship with place—my place in the world, my place in a relationship, or the place I live,” says Kelcy. “The songs move through darkness and light, through rural and urban landscapes, and hopefully they move the listener to reflect on their own relationships with people, space, and time,” she says.

Shreveport native “Kelcy Mae” Wilburn cut her musical teeth in the way many Bible Belt kids do—singing traditional hymns in church choirs and belting out rock songs amidst the cigarette smoke of friends in cars on the backroads. When a set of braces prematurely ended a short-lived future in trumpet, a teenage Kelcy picked up her brother’s acoustic guitar and began writing songs. Her path to songwriting was forged in the hours after school, alone in her bedroom, surrounded by Beatles posters, wafting incense, and the burgeoning poetry of youth.

In 2001, Kelcy found a home in New Orleans, where she studied English at Loyola University and dabbled at local open mics. After Hurricane Katrina, she sold flooring while working toward her MFA in poetry at the University of New Orleans. The poetry of song was her first love, however, and to her first love she eventually returned, pursuing a life in music with the release of her folk-influenced solo record Pennies in Hand in 2011. The album garnered the budding artist local and regional praise. During the years that followed, Kelcy Mae learned the ropes of touring and the DIY music life.

With her next release, the 2014 double EP Half-Light, Kelcy Mae explored her country-leaning tendencies while staying rooted in a New Orleans-influenced pop-rock approach. No Depression called it “an album that pairs solid, straightforward songwriting with a wide ranging musical style with just enough twang at the heart of it all to appeal to any fan of modern Americana.” Writer Skot Nelson praised Kelcy Mae’s voice as one of the album’s best features, comparing her to Bonnie Raitt and Natalie Merchant. To Houston Press writer Chris Gray, Kelcy “brushes up against the sad blue-eyed soul of Shelby Lynne and kindles her inner torch singer a la Neko Case….”

Kelcy Mae continued to build a local fan base, touring regionally across the Southeast with additional trips through the American Midwest and Northeast. She performed at numerous regional festivals, including the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. In 2013, she was named a finalist in the inaugural Pepsi Southern Original contest, earning her a performance in Panama City, Florida, at Gulf Coast Jam, the contest’s partnering country music festival. The following year she was a featured Emerging Artist at Milwaukee’s SummerFest. Over these transitional years of regular New Orleans shows and sporadic touring in a beat-down, ‘01 Chevy Tahoe, Kelcy Mae fine-tuned her style and found her voice in the songs her travels inspired. “In a town famous for jazz music and brass bands, Kelcy Mae is carving her own niche in New Orleans-style Americana…With a voice as delicate as Regina Spektor’s but accented with the occasional twang or growl, Kelcy shines on stage,” stated

With Ever More Nest, Kelcy Mae shows that her work over the last few years—a music-driven journey of self discovery—has paid off, and with The Place That You Call Home, she displays just how at home she is at the intersection of Americana, Alt-Country, and Rock ‘n Roll. Where 2014’s Half-Light toyed with country and Americana, The Place That You Call Home welcomes it with open arms and a shot or three of bourbon. As Ever More Nest, Kelcy has adopted a full-fledged Americana style that nods to the likes of Ryan Adams and Whiskeytown, Emmylou Harris, Wilco, Lucinda Williams, and Neil Young without sounding too much like any of them. While her unique voice has consistently been a critics’ talking point, Kelcy’s writing has perhaps commanded more attention, garnering her songwriting accolades and critics’ respect. Kelcy’s poeticism is a calling card of her songs, and it’s on full display on The Place That You Call Home.

Kelcy recruited Neilson Hubbard to produce the album in summer 2017 after hearing Caroline Spence’s Spades & Roses. Hubbard assembled a cast of exceptional Nashville players for the record including multi-instrumentalist, guitar-wizard Will Kimbrough and Grand Ole Opry staff fiddler, Eamon McLoughlin, both of whom share the occasional stage with Emmylou Harris. Hubbard wore the hats of producer and drummer and, alongside bassist Dean Marold, provided the pocket rhythms for the record. With heart-wringing pedal steel and guitar work, Kenny Hutson rounded out the small, powerhouse group of musicians who gathered in Hubbard’s intimate former personal studio (now Skinny Elephant Recording) in East Nashville with owner Dylan Alldredge at the controls.

Recording commenced on August 21, 2017, immediately following the total eclipse that darkened Nashville for two eery minutes, quite literally aligning the stars over Ever More Nest’s project. Cosmically blessed, the album accentuates the best of Kelcy’s emotive, authentic voice, delicate yet driving guitar work, and honest, observational songwriting that poses the universal question: “Just where do I belong?”

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Katie Keller –