BY MICHAEL RICONDA
Kelehan, 29, operates Alto Music School in Nyack and has worked as a musician since the age of 18. Though he has helped other artists put together their own projects, this is his first solo release under the name Dylan Kay.
“I wrote all the material by myself,” Kelehan said. “No collaborations whatsoever, so that was kind of scary and kind of awesome at the same time. The scary part of it is that you’re putting your heart on your sleeve and it’s only you, and the awesome part of it is also that you’re putting you’re heart on your sleeve and it’s only you.”
The music itself is firmly rooted in rock. It has a deep groove and heaviness, but also a great deal of harmony and no dedication to any extreme on the spectrum of rock music. Instead, it is a logical meeting point between the lighter work of alternative acts like Muse, original movers and shakers like the Rolling Stones and the denser melodic compositions of metal influences such as Black Sabbath.
Lyrically, the content is similarly intimate. As per the album title, Kelehan pursued coming of age themes where he grapples with and eventually expels childish ideas as he owns up to past mistakes. As a man with a fiance and a six-year old son, the struggle is one he stated was unavoidable and ultimately cathartic.
“It’s kind of a rite of passage, going from the struggles of being a child into manhood,” Kelehan said.
The process of putting together the album was a challenge in itself. Kelehan worked with three separate sound engineers, with each having to catch up to the work the prior had laid down. Additionally, much of the project was funded out of pocket and piecemeal with proceeds from live performances and sales of old instruments.
However, the process of recording was simple. With complete creative control and a myriad of local connections, Kelehan was able to design the album to his exact needs and take his pick among those in Nyack’s musical scene he felt most capable, ensuring that he had a sound ideal for both his live and studio compositions.
Kelehan offers little in the way of previews before the album is released. “I’ve done my best to exercise all my local connections, but I’m still holding back a few aces up my sleeve until it’s actually released so it has a little bit of mystery about it.”
Kelehan’s album is slated for a Friday, August 22 online release at www.bandcamp.com and in hard copy at his CD release party that evening 9:30 p.m. at Olive’s in Nyack. Kelehan will also be performing songs from his new album at 11:00 p.m. with Curbside Hustle opening at 10 p.m. Admission is $10.