Olympia, WA indie rock storyteller Kelsey Magnuson uses dry humor, heartache, and a shapeless and vital energy to explore aspects of communal hurt and joy, among all the other things we experience and occasionally struggle against every day. She specializes in intimate, conversational stories, the kinds that dig so deep into your heart that they forever mark with their unique emotional echoes. She’s set to release her debut full-length album, Don’t Budge, in November, and it finds her traipsing through illuminated bedroom orchestrations and bouts of earnest interior analyses.
“The songs span over a handful of years, so they come together like a map of transitions and growing pains through my twenties,” Magnuson says. “There’s so much about living in small towns, un-returned adoration, and the urgent need to spend my time ‘right’ and hold everything together.”
She consciously drew from a handful of inspirations as she worked her way through the material that would make up the new record, and two artists found their way to the forefront of her mind. Speaking of singer-songwriter Julie Doiron: “I was so drawn to her range of sound, from plucky guitar songs to heavier riffs, and how it flowed so well through one album,” Magnuson explains. “But I’d also be a phony if I didn’t mention my real life inspo from idea man-confidant-and total lyrical genius Anna McClellan.”
For our first glimpse into Don’t Budge, Magnuson shares “Beep Beep”, a propulsive dose of unfiltered indie rock radiance. Across the track, her voice has a singsong quality to it, as well as displaying a generosity of spirit that beckons all to come just a little bit closer. The guitars jangle and sparkle in all the right ways, hazy and fluid in their movements. It’s such an infectious track that you’ll be humming along before the song is halfway over. It’s a perfect summery hit of indie vitality. Looking deeper, the track speaks to the passing of time and all the things we have done and could be doing and what we might accomplish in the future.
“‘Beep Beep’ is a song written in the first months of the pandemic during a slip into a total loss of my sense of time,” Magnuson reveals. “But the sound (beep!beep!) of a friends watch that went off on the hour every hour was particularly noticeable…how each hour could pass without much happening at all. The days would drag and then all of a sudden pass too quickly — the rhythm and stops in ‘Beep Beep’ echo that specific feeling.”
Listen to the song below.
Kelsey Magnuson’s debut album Don’t Budge is due out November 2 via Earth Libraries. Follow her on Instagram.