Kelly Phoenix has released his debut single, No Mistake, and we’ve been taking a listen here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today.
No Mistake is a song about the frustration and anger that one feels at the end of a toxic relationship. It really is quite amazing how many submissions we’re receiving on this subject at the moment. It seems that the pandemic has made everyone question everything about their lives and their relationships and so many musicians are taking comfort in writing about these relationships, learning from them, and moving forward.
No Mistake has a real 80s feel to it in the opening section. The delayed guitar effect in the intro smacks of 80s pop/ rock and as you begin your journey with Phoenix, you are treated to almost 4 and a half minutes of very dark emo pop rock.
Phoenix’s vocals are breathy and clear and up front in the mix. He sings quite low for the start of the song but as it develops, he opens up a little more and there’s some great head voice work in the later sections.
We particularly like the brief but fun instrumental sections between verses. With a repeated guitar riff and two gasps of breath, there’s a sense of urgency in the track, as if the singer is trying to escape from the woman who has brought on his misery.
Almost hypnotic, looped drums drive No Mistake forward. Ever pushing for some peace from his situation, No Mistake feels like a song that would be good for a running playlist! We can just imagine having this in our ears during a work out.
Because the drums are looped, we imagine that No Mistake will be a great song for a live show for Kelly. It feels like a track that could be performed really well as a live loop, that Phoenix could build upon and really bring to quite a crescendo.
We have to give some major kudos to guest guitarist, and good friend of Phoenix, Dakota Compain. There’s two guitar solos within this track and without taking anything away from Phoenix, they really do shine. Perhaps a little Van Halen influence in his playing; there is some real precision in Compain’s playing and some great choices of notes with a lovely rocky tone.
No Mistake was recorded by Phoenix in his home studio, and he’s done a good job here. We’d suggest a wide boost across the mids and high mids (probably around 500Hz to 5kHz) to increase the fullness and presence in the overall song.
A great workout track for a rock fan, and definitely a great track to play live, No Mistake is a promising debut for Phoenix. He mentions that he has a debut EP coming soon and we’ll be keeping our ears out for that.