Anti- Records is proud to announce the release of Kelly Hogan’s extraordinary new solo album I Like To Keep Myself In Pain. This Atlanta native is a beloved figure throughout the contemporary music landscape, and a multi-faceted artist whose warm southern persona and powerful voice have left their mark on countless recordings and live performances. She was recently touted "a national treasure" by colleague, friend, and former Chicago neighbor, Andrew Bird, while acclaimed singer-songwriter M. Ward simply states, "Kelly Hogan rules."
On her new album, Hogan curates an ambitious and moving labor of love, mining the perfect intersection between classic pop, country and soul. She utilizes her incredible voice to interpret compositions penned for her by musical luminaries including Vic Chesnutt, The Magnetic Fields, The Mekons' Jon Langford, The Handsome Family, Freakwater's Catherine Irwin, John Wesley Harding, Robbie Fulks, Gabriel Roth, Robyn Hitchcock, and the aforementioned M. Ward and Andrew Bird. She is backed on the album by an all-star group of musicians: R&B legends Booker T Jones and James Gadson (Bill Withers, Beck), as well as talented young lions Gabriel Roth (of Daptone Records, The Dap-Kings) and Hogan's long-time collaborator Scott Ligon (of the newly resurrected NRBQ).
Hogan is the consummate "singer’s singer," having fronted a succession of highly influential bands. She has also collaborated with a list of prominent artists in a role she proudly describes as “the noble sideman.” Hogan’s first band, The Jody Grind, were purveyors of a unique and intoxicating mix of cabaret, country, jazz, and punk featuring Hogan’s soulful voice alongside talented instrumentalist-songwriter Bill Taft. “Bill and I met at a punk show,” Hogan says. “He asked what records I was currently listening to and I said Hoagy Carmichael. He said 'that's verrrry interesting!' A week later he asked me if I wanted to start a band and I said 'hell yes.'” The Jody Grind soon became torchbearers for the Cabbagetown scene, were heralded by R.E.M. singer Michael Stipe and released two influential albums before meeting an untimely end. Hogan followed with a stint playing guitar and singing back-up in the raucous rock and roll outfit The Rock*A*Teens before releasing a solo album of her own titled The Whistle Only Dogs Can Hear.
In 1997, Hogan relocated to Chicago and briefly attempted to quit music, but soon failed miserably. Within months she began singing as much as she could. “I became known as the person that could come in like a ninja and sing backup on your song and put my mustard on your bologna,” she says. “(Steve) Albini would call me for all sorts of things -- singing, screaming, you-name-it. At the same time I would get calls to come sing on shampoo commercials. I took on all kinds of projects because I felt like it was helping to build my musician muscles.” In 1998, she joined the band of celebrated singer-songwriter Neko Case -- a venture she describes as "finding my family,” and, in the ensuing Chicago years, Hogan recorded and toured with a host of other top artists, worked at the legendary Hideout club, released two additional solo albums for Bloodshot Records, and embarked on a project for radio station WXRT where she recorded a cover song a week for an entire year. She also became one of three DJs for a popular WXRT show called "The Eclectic Company.”
“I’ve spent the last ten years singing with people I love and admire,” Hogan says. “Neko and Jakob Dylan, Mavis Staples and Otis Clay and Andrew Bird. I got to really stretch out musically with a weekly residency at the Hideout with my jazz quartet (Kelly Hogan and the Wooden Leg), and I even joined a kid’s music band on the side (Wee Hairy Beasties with Sally Timms and Jon Langford). I've always wanted to know music from all sides of the elephant, and I feel like I used everything I ever learned to walk into that Hollywood studio and work with Mr. Gadson and Booker T, Gabe (Roth) and Scotty (Ligon) for my first Anti- record.”
Kelly Hogan’s new album I Like To Keep Myself In Pain is a musical tour de force that seamlessly blends elements of the past and present. From her time fronting visionary bands, to her role as a creative, nimble, and sought-after vocalist, Hogan's every performance and recording has led to this deeply personal and affecting work. "I had all these incredible songs sent to me by people I really admire, and I was working with legendary musicians in a holy-to-me studio space," Hogan says "And then my job was just to listen to what the songs were telling me to do. The song is my boss. Always has been. Always will be."
Listening to Mages is the equivalent of floating in an all-encompassing life-orb that soars through the waxing expanse of the universe. There's a sense of unity, weightlessness, and mind-bending nirvana. Conjurring up fresh arrangements that will attract appreciation from audiences and please longtime fans.