Nashville’s Kelly Hoppenjans relied on music as a stabilizing force in the midst of change, earning herself the childhood nickname “Kellybird” for her constant singing. In June, the folk rock songbird will release Dreaming is Easy, her second EP, which takes the listener on a colorful yet stark journey through love, loss, betrayal, and hope.
The album’s name is taken from a line in lead single “The Trouble Is Waking Up.” “I like that the album title and the single title seem like they’re having a conversation with each other–it makes me smile,” she says. “Most of the songs on the album have some sort of dream-like, whimsical imagery, I think partly because I do a lot of lyric writing right when I wake up in the morning and am still half-asleep. The album is eclectic in style and darker than my first album, which I released in September of 2015. I wanted to take more time with this one to explore my sound and allow myself to experiment, so it’s been a long recording process–almost 8 months,” she continues. “I’m so excited to finally be able to share it.”
“Spurs in the saloon/Loaded guns around high noon/You and I will stand our ground/Fighting is easy/The trouble is backing down,” she sings in the song’s metered introduction, her dreamy, melodic voice a contrast to the tension being created. “The initial image for this song was a wild-west type of dangerous romance–a Bonnie and Clyde style love story that burns bright while it lasts, but ends with a big brawl and mutual devastation,” she explains of the song’s haunting sense of simmering danger. “I wanted to capture the positives and negatives of passion with strong images like shaking spurs, climbing trees, and flying bullets. As a child of the 90s, I love the DIY alt-rock sound of those days, so I worked with my producer, Jim Reilley, and engineer, Eric Fritsch, to get a nice grungy sound mixed with a dreamy Indian music influence.”
Without further ado, East of 8th proudly presents “The Trouble Is Waking Up” by Kelly Hoppenjans: