KELLY – “Bronx Romance”

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    artwork by magnus
    Rank: First Frost
    Points: 120.25

    KELLY – “Bronx Romance”
    Published: June 18, 2023

    KELLY pulls out all the stops on his newest single, “Bronx Romance,” released on Saturday, June 17th. “Bronx Romance” was written, recorded, produced, and mixed entirely by Kelly Morris (The Mobros); Jeremy Ferguson from Nashville’s Battle Tapes mastered it. The track doesn’t waste a moment of its 3 minutes and 15 seconds runtime, venturing through blues rock, soul, and even a touch of psychedelic rock. 

    With a heavy heart, Morris sings the opening words, “she laid by my side, one last time or last night, and forever.” A flash of guitar makes itself known, and the track stumbles forward with thunderous kicks that add a punch to Morris’ melancholic vocal melodies.

    “And you feel the way that you do because you believe that someone will love you better,” he continues. Morris recounts how his nights in love have long since blurred together as he belts the words, “I believe there’s a song that we sing when there’s nowhere to turn.”

    Next, the synths creep in, and Morris sings, “I can’t fully believe it’s over. Is there one more chance?” In comes the bass line. “You can tell the thrill has long since gone from this Bronx Romance.”

    With a crash of crunchy guitars, Morris belts out a soul-touching sound that makes me wonder if Jeff Buckley has been alive this whole time disguised as the dude with the best afro in Charleston. Again, the chorus starts to come around. When the synth comes back, it’s already begun. The song lifts the listener into levitation as hypnotic “oos” and “aahs” oscillate in the foreground. Morris sings out his conclusion, “I should have been there!”

    As he stirs the heights of this track, “Redbone” Gambino-esque pitched-up vocals serenade us in echoes. As we come back down to earth, we’re caught by those same old crunchy guitars. The track ends the same way it began – with the lines, “she laid by my side, one last time or last night, and forevermore.”

    As the track fades out, we’re left with a lingering question: when will it end? Maybe it’s when you stop playing the record.

    It’s blues rock and soul, something you can really feel. There’s so much to unpack in Morris’ vocal performance alone, from Jeff Buckley to Childish Gambino. Then there are the garagey guitars, the subtle yet present basslines that hold down their grooves, the sweet-sounding synths, and the steady pounding of drums – all played by Kelly Morris – that blend together beautifully into an indie rock powerhouse. 

    Overall, “Bronx Romance” is a track that you can really sink your teeth into, deserving of many many listens this summer and forevermore.

    Stream “Bronx Romance” below.

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