KELLI ALI – English/Indian singer
Kelli Dayton aka Kelli Ali was born in Birmingham, England on 30th June, 1974. Born to an Irish/English mother and Indian father she was first known as front woman to the Trip-Hop group Sneaker Pimps.
She has a long list of collaborative material working with such diverse names as Marilyn Manson, Marc Almond, Bootsy Collins and Linkin Park. Such is her love of music as songwriter, singer and guitarist she has appeared on many albums as well as an orchestral version of Mary Shelley’s horror novels “A Paradise Inhabited by Devils” with Swedish pianist Ozymandias (Christophe Terretaz).
After releasing 4 of her own solo albums she is currently releasing a 5th album entitled “Band of Angels”.
I first heard Kelli as lead singer of the Sneaker Pimps. She was unusual looking but in a sexy, cute way. The songs on the album “Becoming X” in 1996 were almost like Morcheeba, laid back but sometimes with a good hypnotic groove. “6 Underground” and “Spin Spin Sugar” were big hits both in the UK and the US. I then found out the band discarded Kelli after this album and she appeared a few years later in 2003 flying solo with her debut album “Tigermouth”.
“Tigermouth”, the debut album was a mix of similar sounds from her Sneaker Pimps days but her vocals were more far ranging and the whole album had an exotic, eastern feel. This probably came from her half-indian background. The opening track “Inferno High Love” is a mix of thrashing guitars, electronic loops and Madonna/Kylie-esque vocals. “Here Comes The Summer” is a lovely upbeat sunny sing-along song while “Teardrops Hittin’ The Ground” is an almost dark track but with a driving electro beat. There are some gorgeous vocals on “Queen of the World” while the eleven minute epic “Kids” ends the album akin to Transvision Vamp’s “Velveteen” in the late 80s.
Second album “Psychic Cat” arrived in 2004 and was even more experimental then her debut. The lead track was “Hot Lips” which was a punky driven guitar based track reminiscent of classic Garbage. The title track “Psychic Cat” was a throwback to Kelli’s Sneaker Pimps days. This album used more hypnotic sounds and unusual vocals to create a Garage/Electro/Punk sound. “Home Honey I’m High” is a quirky Electronic track while “Groupie” is a mix of electronic noises and beats with a haunting vocal making a very eerie track. “Ideal” is another Garbage-style song which is Grunge/Goth rock at it’s best.
The third album “Rocking Horse” was a lot more Folk/Psychedelic than the previous two albums and is a bit of a shock. It was almost like a Kate Bush experimental concept album, telling little stories to a musical backdrop. There are more strings and unusual orchestral arrangements than before. “What To Do” and “The Kiss” remind you of ancient times and are very spiritual sounding. “Savages” is also a hypnotic relaxing track which sums up the whole album. The Trip-Hop lady is in full experimental mode here, “September Sky” and “Dancing Bears” are other stand out tracks.
The 4th album “Butterfly” is an acoustic album using guitars and flutes etc. It’s a re-working of tracks from the “Rocking Horse” album plus new songs “Butterfly” and “Before The Kiss”, with songs from “Becoming X” and “Tigermouth” thrown in for good measure. Very mellow, calm and soothing to the ears.
Kelli is currently releasing the 5th album “Band of Angels”, she is so diverse and talented, I don’t know what to expect next!.
An introduction to Kelli’s back catalogue can be found below –
“Inferno High Love”, “Here Comes The Summer”, “Teardrops Hittin’ The Ground”, “Kids”, “Queen of the World”.
(From the album “Tigermouth”).
“Hot Lips”, “Psychic Cat”, “Home Honey I’m High”, “Groupie”, “Ideal”.
(From the album “Psychic Cat”).
“What To Do”, “The Kiss”, “Savages”, “September Sky”, “Dancing Bears”.
(From the album “Rocking Horse”)
“Butterfly”, “Before The Kiss”, “Waterbaby”, “Throw It To The Dogs”, “Wings In Motion”.
(From the album “Butterfly”).
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