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Taylor Kelly | Fit In: Exclusive Premiere

The Philly singer-songwriter does some soulful soul-searching on her latest single.

Taylor Kelly comes to terms with being an outsider in her introspective and immersive new single Fit In — premiering exclusively on Tinnitist.

A sleek, soulful slice of soul-searching and self-examination, Fit In is the second single from the beguiling, genre-blending Philadelphia ingenue’s forthcoming EP The Spins. Arriving July 19 — her birthday — the six-song disc fittingly chronicles her own journey of rebirth after being diagnosed with OCD:

“I’ve always felt like I don’t quite fit in
Always somewhat misunderstood
But when I look around it all seems pretty good
All seems pretty good
I wish I didn’t think I was dying
Every time I have an ache or pain
I guess I’m thirty now and I need to get used to it
Maybe take some medication
I just wanna get away
Just focus on my art
Write until I can’t anymore
Get a fresh new start
OK, OK, OK…”

In addition to her revealing lyrics, Kelly cleverly and creatively reflects her feelings and condition in the circular structure of cuts like Fit In. She explains: “This song is me trying to relieve myself of the intrusive thoughts that were consuming my brain. The repetitive chords and lead keyboard line really represent me feeling trapped in this spiral — of these thoughts plaguing me and making it hard for me to just live. I wanted to create something that felt more like a stream of consciousness which is why the form kind of runs amok — the second chorus leading to a swirling outro that fades out into the abyss.

“I wrote this song before even being diagnosed with OCD and as we were working on it in the studio a year later, it was so glaringly obvious that this song stemmed from my suffering from OCD that I decided to include real sound bites of exposure therapy exercises from the therapy I was getting at the time.

“The song ends with my therapist asking me how I’m doing (after I’d rattled off my greatest fears for 20 minutes). This song is me trying to escape myself and I wanted to create a bit of surrealism with that which Logan so beautifully brought to life with all of his ethereal synth sounds. The use of all of the percussive instruments (including mouth percussion) toward the end really lent to the chaos I was feeling,” says Kelly.

With influences such as Hiatus Kaiyote, Butcher Brown, Victoria Monét, Emily King, Lianne La Havas and Erykah Badu, the musically rich exposition was written and co-produced by Kelly (vocals, percussion) features contributions from Logan Roth (keys, Rhodes, bus synths), Zach Guise (bass / key bass) and Eoin Murphy on synths, drum programming and co-production.

Born and raised in Rochester, N.Y., Kelly continues to be leading light in the vibrant Philadelphia music scene with her deeply personal transfusion of jazz, soul, and funk. Combining her smooth, powerful, technically informed voice with rich hip-hop, electronic textures and complex arrangements, Kelly’s palette is a dynamic blend of moods saturated with melodic contour, intricate harmonies, and authentic, articulate lyricism, her essence establishing a niche strikingly all its own.

Since 2015, the Berklee College of Music graduate has released six projects with her song California nearing a million streams while Maybe (2021) and Let You Go (2023) have been heard on U.S. radio stations.

Her new collection The Spins is her most fully realized work to date. “The Spins is really me being present with myself. It’s me processing the ways OCD had taken over my life, with some songs written even before knowing I had the condition. It’s a lyrical mouthful alongside very careful attention to detail, with textured sounds like trumpets, strings, a myriad of synths and even sound bites from exposure therapy sessions weaving in and out of the melody. It was important to me to capture all of me and all of my voices. It’s truly me bearing all,” said Kelly.

At her core, Kelly has an unyielding, marrow-deep commitment to self-expression through music, truly enjoying every opportunity to transfer this passion to her listeners, whether virtually or in person. Immersive transcendent affairs, Kelly has uplifted, inspired and energized thousands of ardent concertgoers with her spiritually freeing performances. She has shared stages with St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Dirty Loops, Moonchild, Becca Stevens, Monophonics, Neal Francis, Stolen Gin, Giacomo Turra, Lavalove, Georgia Anne Muldrow and Lydia Luce.

In addition to her own gigs, Kelly also curates and hosts IRIS, a new monthly showcase/jam session that highlights femme voices of the past, present and future. In late July, she’ll embark on a month-long tour in support of The Spins, hitting 10 cities across seven states. On July 28, she’ll celebrate the release of the EP with a big hometown show at Johnny Brenda’s.

Listen to Fit In above, hear more from Taylor Kelly and check out her tour dates below, and find her on her website and Instagram.

Taylor Kelly Tour Dates

July 25 | Baltimore – The 8×10 (w/ Grayson Moon, Ray Winder)
July 27 | Richmond – Révéler
July 28 | Philadelphia – Johnny Brenda’s (w/ Human Bloom, Rachel Andie)
Aug. 1 | Columbus – Old Towne East Arts (w/ Mistar Anderson, Ebri Yahoe)
Aug. 2 | Rensselaer, IN – eMbers Station
Aug. 3 | Chicago – Subterranean (w/ Human Bloom, Jennifer Hall)
Aug. 4 | Pittsburgh – Cellar, PGH Winery (w/ INEZBack Alley Sound)
Aug. 7 | Bethlehem – Musikfest
Aug. 16 | Geneseo, NY – Drumroll
Aug. 17 | Syracuse – Funk N Waffles (w/ Sing Trece)