This morning, we’ve been listening to Mr. LJ Kelly-Gee’s latest single, Headphones, and boy are we glad this was the first track of the day!

Kelly-Gee delivers a song which has a real sunny, laze-on-the-beach feel. Quite an impressive feat for someone from Chatham, England! This is a wonderfully positive-sounding song that put us all in just the right frame of mind.

‘Headphones’ is a love letter to the indescribable feeling that you get when you have your favourite music playing in your ears and you can’t help but dance along and imagine you’re
the main character in your own music video.

Starting on some gorgeously warm and expertly played percussive acoustic guitar, Headphones immediately puts you in a good mood. You can instantly tell the quality of musicianship here.

The full band sound doesn’t come in when you might expect it to, but we loved the excitement of not knowing what was going to happen next. The song has some wonderful dynamics in it – some great rise and fall – and every step of the way, Kelly-Gee has pulled out all the stops to create a fantastic and enthralling soundscape.

Vocally, we were reminded of Jack Johnson and Paulo Nutini – perhaps Jamie Cullum and Robbie Williams too. Kelly-Gee has some absolutely spectacular control and range in his vocals and the whole laid-back feeling is delivered effortlessly. The falsetto in his voice must be pointed out too – absolutely world-class.

We love how there is so much going on at any given moment in this recording. Lots of subtle things are being added and taken away to create something that the listener can always latch onto. At times there’s a touch of gentle piano hidden away in the background, at another point in the song, Kelly-Gee uses a telephone filter effect briefly on his vocals. We also liked the line “my headphones on” repeated and panned to one side, giving the impression that the singer is well and truly lost in the moment listening to music on his headphones.

The electric guitar solo made a couple of us shout “yeah!” rather loudly! Just as we thought this song couldn’t get any more intoxicating, an electric fuzz guitar takes centre stage and pulls off a solo that Lenny Kravitz would have been proud of.

The songwriting, chord progressions and arrangement at times has reminded us of Elton John and the overall laid-back feel has a definite Jack Johnson/ John Meyer feel.

What a track! Perhaps a boost around 55Hz would bring the thump of the kick drum in a little more. A small high shelf boost across the top 3 octaves with maybe an additional boost around 3.5-4kHz for some extra definition in that area would raise the overall brightness a bit. Finally, a light compressor/limiter and around 3-4dB of make up gain would add to the warmth in the track and raise the overall volume a little too. As always, these are just some thoughts/ideas from us. The track already sounds great!

The absolute best way to start the day! Mr. LJ Kelly-Gee was a new name to us today, but one who has shot to the top of Send Me Your Ears favourites. We’re looking forward to hearing more from this superb songwriter.