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Paula Kelley

Former frontwoman of Boston indie pop bands Drop Nineteens, Boy Wonder, and Hot Rod, not to mention a sometime member of the Bee Gees tribute band the Boy Joys, Paula Kelley is a genuine pure pop auteur who is not in need of bandmates to confirm her considerable talents. In the process, she has emerged as an impressively versatile songwriter, conversant in the various strains of indie pop, bubblegum, and twee pop. Turning her love of the Pixies and Carole King into an ear for creating hybrid sounds, Kelley found herself riding a wave of college-press hype and European touring during her stint in the short-lived Drop Nineteens, a leading light in the American shoegaze scene during the alternative rock salad days of the early '90s. Not content to be a supporting player, Kelley bided her time unhappily until preemptively leaving the band a year before their demise in 1994. Rebounding to form Hot Rod, Kelley wasted no time finding her footing, recording an album with a similar alternative rock pedigree but with more of her pop proclivities on display. Still, this collaboration would prove transitory as well, as Kelley would move on to form Boy Wonder in 1996. Although gaining notoriety as one of Boston's best bands, not to mention releasing a few well-received albums of glorious bubblegum-ish pop, Kelley bolted from Boy Wonder as a collaborator to fully indulge her pop muse in the less confining role as solo songwriter in 2000. Now free to finally make the undiluted pop masterpiece she seemed primed to make her whole professional career, Nothing/Everything arrived in 2001 and hardly disappointed, showing Kelley's willingness to drift into the more pristine waters of pop music while leaving the volume and vigor of alternative rock behind. Two years later, Kelley's shiny twee stylings got a bit darker with The Trouble with Success or How You Fit into the World. A mid-decade move to the West Coast followed as did a rarities and demos collection (Some Sucker's Life, Pt. 1) that featured songs recorded between 1993 and 2005. ~ Matt Fink, Rovi
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