Kelley Stoltz’s latest release To Dreamers is a Jackson Pollock canvas of numerous rock sub-genres from the past few decades. While many of the hues he dabbles in explode in catchy melody, the overall work is lacking in continuity. One song is so disparate from the next yet so well-executed that the album plays out like a greatest hits record. The one constant tying at least a portion of To Dreamers together is the post-punk vapor trail that makes itself known on most tracks. The San Francisco-based multi-instrumentalist Stoltz wears his myriad influences on his sleeve, but thankfully without derivative results.
“Pinecone” is as beautiful as modern folk gets. Breezy acoustic plucks clear the path for Stoltz’s laid-back vocal stylings. The stream-of-consciousness lyrical simplicity of “Fire Escape” carries a subtle British Invasion influence. “I Remember, You Were Wild” and the album-closing “Bottle Up” find Stoltz channeling his inner Elliot Smith as he relays melancholic tales of nostalgia laced with shrapnels of hope. Despite the scattered feel of the album, its individual components are undeniably solid and easy to listen to.
Song you will remember in five years: “I Remember, You Were Wild”
Line you will remember in five years: “I call through the clouds that threaten to crowd out all of my hard-earned sunlight” (from “Love Let Me In Again”)