Home Hear Keeley Boyle Welcomes You With Inviting EP

Keeley Boyle Welcomes You With Inviting EP

The Alaska singer-songwriter thaws your heart with her warmly sincere songcraft.

Keeley Boyle makes up for lost time with her intimate new EP Inviting — showcasing today on Tinnitist.

Boyle penned her long-overdue EP during the coldest, darkest months of the year in her hometown of Kenai, Alaska, a town with a population of 7,500. There, in the depths of winter, the singer-songwriter was able to dislodge an almost decade-long spell of writer’s block, creating a glistening meditation on mental health, relationships, and the singular landscape that shapes her being.

“I made this record when I was learning how to appreciate winter up here,” she says. “I think I really bonded with it, sort of out of necessity because I was very sad.” For Boyle, it is no accident that her homecoming to Kenai brought forth a long-awaited era of creativity. After spending her childhood and adolescence playing music in Alaska, Boyle lived for several years down the coast in Portland and then in Nashville, surrounded by vibrant music scenes while struggling to write. It was only after returning to Kenai that she experienced the revival of her songwriter’s voice. In the frozen landscape, something was coming alive.

“I don’t think the songs would be the same if I had written them anywhere else.” Boyle says. “As a family we spent a lot of time outside by the ocean and river, watching ice drift or belugas come in with the tide. I feel like the environment here found its way into every song.”

Photo by Nelson Kempf.

The tenderness that Boyle holds both for herself and her environment is apparent in Inviting, in which no word is an accident and each lyric is delivered with the patience of someone who has had the opportunity to sit with her emotions without distraction. As the songs unfold, sadness begins to feel like something of a companion, and so too does the Kenai winter. Boyle’s voice floats above the deep warmth of her acoustic guitar, wavering between jazz and folk melodies and painted with often unexpected sonic hues. The record, which was produced by Boyle, shines under her intuitive direction.

“A song, or a poem, or any work of art is like a little flame. Especially when they’re young you have to tend to them so carefully. I really needed to be in control of that tending for this project.” The songs on Inviting benefit from the space to breathe. Boyle keeps the arrangements open: Lush harmonies weave in and out of the mix, and keys and occasional percussion surface beneath her words in ripples, echoing the flowing cadence of the natural world. Each song is a deeply personal portrait of the subtleties of the mind and the environment, delivered with utmost care.

Inviting was recorded mostly at Boyle’s home in Kenai as well as in Anchorage, and was engineered by her husband Nelson Kempf, who also played electric guitar on the record. Boyle brought in Carmen Rothwell and Abbey Blackwell (Alvvays) on bass, Machado Mijiga on drums, and Joseph Shabason (War on Drugs) on saxophone.

Check out Inviting below and follow Keeley Boyle on Instagram.


Photo by Jovell Rennie.