Here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today, we’ve been listening to the latest single from one of our favourites, Garland Kelley. Nashville-based Kelley released his latest single, Mortal, on August 11th, 2023. It is the title track from his debut EP which addresses personal struggles, existence and mortality.

Every time we listen to Garland’s music, we’re transported into his world. His songs are evocative and thought-provoking and always inspiring. Garland’s music is a refreshing beacon in a mire of mass-produced bubble-gum modern music. The intricacies in his guitar playing and the subtle and effortless vocals blend together perfectly to create music to fall in love with.

The guitar riff on Mortal is slightly reminiscent of Tracey Chapman’s, Fast Car, with percussive and transient notes shining through and grabbing the listener’s attention. The distant drums and sparing bass are perfectly suited to this track and reminded us of that great piece of advice: it’s not the notes you play, it’s the notes you don’t play!

There are some gorgeous subtle distant reverbs on the vocals which you can just pick up at the end of each section – we especially love the vocal bends that Garland effortlessly pulls off on this track. There’s a touch of gravel in the vocals at times – a passionate and emotional performance that flows from Garland as though he was born to sing songs. The relaxed approach makes this feel like the perfect music for relaxing on the beach on a summer’s day.

A breakdown leads into a glorious guitar solo that almost copies the motif and melody of the vocal line and feels perhaps influenced by Justin Hayward or David Gilmour. All in all, yet another outstanding track from an artist who is right at the top of our favourites list.

Production-wise, this song is just superb. Everything has its own space in the track and the vocals are crystal clear. This is a very well-thought-out arrangement that highlights Kelley’s sublime vocals and guitar playing.

Final thoughts

We could listen to Garland Kelley all day, and strongly suggest you should too! For fans of Incubus, Soundgarden, Pink Floyd, Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer and much more. Highly recommended.