NEPA band The Charming Beards release poignant single with hopeful message
Katie Kelly hopes the new Charming Beards single can be used as a message of hope.
The song, “Out of the Valley,” which is available now on Bandcamp, and will be available Tuesday on iTunes, was written in 2013 after a good friend of Kelly’s committed suicide.
Kelly said the song originally started out with a melancholy tone to it, with references to the Hotel Sterling, which was demolished shortly after Kelly’s friend’s passing. The songwriter said she left the project on the shelf for a few years before taking it to current bandmates Lisa Dietterich and Jordan Hine.
Once she took “Out of the Valley” to the band, Dietterich suggested taking the song and morphing it into a more buoyant tune with a message of hope.
“It’s way more upbeat,” Kelly said.
In addition to sending a message to those who might be struggling with addiction and mental health issues, Kelly wanted to shine a light on the substance abuse epidemic that is prevalent in the area.
“It’s important to raise awareness,” Kelly said.
One of the themes of the song is to “reach out and reach out again,” Kelly said. In the song, there is spoken word verse in which Kelly says:
“Each day, someone, loses their battle with addiction/Each day, someone takes their own life/But one life lost is too many/So reach out. And reach out again/because it can get better./And it will get better.”
And Kelly wanted to deliver that message for both those who are struggling and anybody who knows someone struggling.
“You never know when just asking somebody how they are can change the course of their day,” she said.
For people who need help, Kelly implores them to seek it, “because it does get better.”
The songstress, who has made notable music with local outfits like the Clamstompers and Umbriel, said Dietterich had a “vital” role in making the song into what it is, and that she helped make it positive.
Dietterich said Kelly had a lot of songs “buried,” and the two talked about resurfacing them and turning them into more upbeat songs.
“(I said) let’s rework them and make them something that everyone can enjoy,” Dietterich said.
Kelly said the two would go back and forth with lyrics and molding the song into what it became.
“It had a little bit of a catharsis,” Kelly said. “It felt like there was more purpose to the song than originally.”
“Out of the Valley” is part of an upcoming EP The Charming Beards are working on with Joe Loftus and Jay Preston, of JL Studios in Olyphant.
“They’re brilliant producers,” Kelly said.
The EP will feature a lot of Kelly’s old songs that have been revisited and reworked with current bandmates.
“Playing with Lisa and Jordan, the songs really evolved,” Kelly said.
Kelly said she would bring the bones of a song to the band, and then everyone would add their parts to it in order to develop the song into what the band brought to the studio.
“Everybody has their own styles, their own influences,” Dietterich said. “With the three of us right now, it’s incredible.”
Reach Brigid Edmunds at 570-991-6113 or on Twitter @brigidedmunds.
Tonight: 7 to 10 p.m., featured artist at Bart and Urby’s Open Mic Night
Saturday: 7 p.m. at The Irish Wolf Pub, part of the Electric City Music Conference