Kelly Paige – Hurt Like Me

All us men folk know to fear a woman scorned something Kelly Paige and her debut single Hurt Like Me reminds with sweetly innocent venom. The song is a vengeful anthem delivered with an infectious smile and the knowing glint in the eye that there is payback coming. A few steps short of ‘bunny boiler’ menace and wicked intent oozes from the song, even more so if listening and watching the video. The emotive but steely tone that delivers the song makes one wonder if a certain lady is coming with her first distinct and impressive recording from personal experience.

Kelly Paige began playing guitar and writing songs at 13, her songwriting influenced and shaped from a childhood spent in an almost nomadic way. Her early years were spent in South African before moving to various parts of the USA, music being her companion and the flavours from each new experience absorbed into her music’s evolution. Though just her first release, the track alone reveals an eclectic blend and glittering strands of pop-punk, rock and soulful pop within. Away from the theme of the song there is a sense of personal interest and passion to her music that many never manage to get across and a quote from Kelly reveals “When I was a kid, I used to sit in my room listening to my CDs for hours just reading along with the lyrics in the CD insert. Partially because I was grounded all of the time and there was nothing else I could do, but mostly because I was just obsessed with it. It was my escape. I want my music to be that for other people”.

Her time in Nashville was especially fruitful winning a songwriting competition judged by the publishing company Big Yellow Dog Music whilst attending Belmont University as well as grabbing the attention of and getting a fan in Willie Nelson’s bass player, Bee Spears who later played in Kelly’s band in Nashville. Kelly is currently experiencing and playing in the UK pleasuring the ears of London with her band “The Players”, stirring up even more acclaim and attention, something Hurt Like Me will surely escalate upon its release October 31st through Playgun Music. 

Taken from her forthcoming album and produced by Ben Mason (Arctic Monkeys, The Kooks, Razorlight) and Glen Nicholls (Snow Patrol, I Blame Coco, Everything Everything), Hurt Like Me is a darkly tinged engaging and welcoming pop song. With an unassuming and almost low key opening it sneakily keeps secret the tour-de-force of impassioned bitterness and wicked revenge within. With beckoning keys, pulsing bass probing and the glorious vocals of Paige the track resonates on many levels sending tingles down every male spine as it expands to unveil its ‘poison’. The lyrics come with a great dark humour, the wicked glint always twinkling and epitomised by a quote from the singer about the rumour the song is spawned from a relationship with her band’s guitarist. “If it were about my guitarist, wouldn’t making him play the song at our gigs just be the ultimate act of revenge?”

The song brings hints of the likes of Amy Winehouse, Asa, and Imelda May at times but there is a different freshness to Paige that is invigorating. The song brings smiles, thoughts and tingles as it plays, and no doubt knowing nods from the woman of the world and fearful shivers in the men. Maybe Kelly Paige has set in motion a wave of avenging angels with her stunning single, only time will tell but for sure she has given the year one of the best debuts and songs.

RingMaster 02/10/2011

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