Melodious, heartfelt, beautiful, wry, wistful, folk-tinged pop are words that have been used to describe Kerr’s music . Although echoes of Belle & Sebastian, Paul Simon, Neil Halstead, Kings Of Convenience and many other artists’ resonate, Ally’s style is very distinctive and he’s been described as one of “Scotland’s brightest rising stars” with three albums under his belt.
From the wide-eyed, innocent, indie pop of debut Calling Out To You, through the bittersweet Off The Radar to a more textured, grander sound and lyrical themes with folk pop Viva Melodia – Kerr’s most ambitious album to date complete with increased instrumentation and arrangements – Kerr is an artist whose music continues to evolve.
Kerr is currently working on his new album entitled Upgrade Me and the album has just been mixed.
“A great songwriting talent from Scotland” – Bob Harris, BBC
“Quietly confident third album from Glasgow pop-folkie……there’s wisps of cinematic wistfulness, there’s a bit of Paul Simon and emotional resilience which hints, quietly, at Ennio Morricone” 8/10 – UNCUT magazine
“Gentle Scottish folk with a pop tinge. If Stuart from Belle & Sebastian did a solo gig…” –Washington Post
A luxurious delicacy” – Femme Actuelle (France)
“A dark, dreamy, captivating album…the melodic gems grow stronger with each listening” – The Herald
“A heady combination of guitar riffs and pop melody has seen Ally Kerr become the next big thing on the British music scene” – Time Out Singapore
“Outstanding melodies and charm. A pop classic” – Rock Deluxe (Spain)
“A sparkling tunesmith” – Metro
“Beautifully melancholic” – Press Association
“Kerr’s songs meld the saccharin side of Belle and Sebastian with the kind of melancholy that Paul Simon’s cat must feel at the end of a day’s recording after milk and biscuits. They are beautifully written and wistful” – Sunday Herald
“One of Scotland’s best-kept secrets offers another magical mix” – Daily Record (Scotland’s biggest-selling national daily)
“Simply beautiful tunes” – Music Magazine (Japan)
“Songs to go quietly wild for” – Maverick Magazine
“One of Scotland’s brightest rising stars” – The List
“Sweet pop gems”, “An undiscovered gem” – Sunday Mail (Scotland’s biggest-selling newspaper)
Press / Media Biography
Viva Melodia is the third album from “beautifully melancholic” (Press Association) Scottish artist Ally Kerr, one of the country’s fastest-rising international singer songwriters. In the five years since his last album, the critically-acclaimed “Off The Radar”, Kerr has flourished, picking up fans and playing shows across Asia and Europe. Thanks to the global exposure of a song used as the theme tune to a major Japanese TV animation called Mushi-shi, an active and enthusiastic fan base, as well as a hands-on approach, word of Kerr’s musical talent continues to spread further and wider and should reach new heights with the release of this new album that was produced by Biff Smith of Scottish critics’ favourites The Starlets and engineered in Glasgow by Marcus Mackay, best known for his work with fellow Scots, Frightened Rabbit. The album was mastered in Florida by KRAMER at Noise Miami (Will Oldham, Daniel Johnston, Galaxie 500).
Cult Spanish label Elefant Records (Lambchop, Camera Obscura) spotted the potential very early on and released a 7inch vinyl single of the first songs Kerr had ever recorded, resulting in positive reviews and airplay around the world. These “Midst of the Storm” EP songs were produced by Duglas T. Stewart (of cult Scottish group BMX Bandits) and engineer Duncan Cameron (Teenage Fanclub / The Delgados / Travis) and subsequently appeared on Kerr’s debut album, “Calling Out To You”, produced by David Scott (The Pearlfishers). Recorded on a shoestring budget, its inclusion in a major Japanese music magazine’s list of the “Top 20 Albums Ever To Come Out Of Scotland” was testament to the melodic strength of the songs and the album sat alongside the seminal works of familiar names such as Orange Juice and Belle and Sebastian, to the intrigue of curious onlookers.
Kerr was quickly invited to Japan and has returned several times to play live. His fan base continues to grow across Asia, notably in China. He was invited to play in Shanghai and Beijing in May 2013 and completed a 10 show headlining tour of the country in June 2015. Viva Melodia was released by various partners across Asia and on Much Obliged Records throughout the rest of the world.
Second album “Off The Radar” (2008), produced by David Scott (The Pearlfishers) was noted as a step up to the debut, achieving critical acclaim and leading to international licensing deals and further invitations to play live across Europe and Asia. The singer/songwriter’s international profile continued its upward trajectory after he was selected to play at the North by North-East music festival in Canada. Kerr rounded off the year with a headlining tour of Asia covering Singapore, Japan, Philippines and Taiwan before taking time out to write and demo for the next album, an album he believes is his best, most ambitious work to date.
Although echoes of Belle & Sebastian (the Washington Post described him as “Gentle Scottish folk with a pop tinge. If Stuart from Belle & Sebastian did a solo gig…”) Nick Drake, Neil Halstead, Kings Of Convenience, Simon and Garfunkel and many other artists resonate, Kerr’s style is singularly distinctive. Having concentrated on the international market for the last few years, one of Scotland’s broadsheet newspapers – Scotland on Sunday – had described him as “one of the most interesting and creative musicians working in the country right now” in its rundown of the “Hottest Scottish Talent” with the biggest-selling newspaper in Scotland (Daily Record) saying of his last album “one of Scotland’s best-kept secrets offers another magical mix”.
Kerr has just completed the recording of his latest album Upgrade Me.