Sara Jean Kelley's Unapologetic "I Am The Ocean" Out Now

Article Contributed by Mixtape Media | Published on Friday, January 28, 2022

Singer, songstress and guitarist Sara Jean Kelley releases the video for her song, “I am the Ocean” directed by Thomas Chi.  The video finds Sara alone in a wood paneled living room, meditating and then rising from her stillness to destroy everything in the room.
“Shortly after recording the Black Snake EP, I got the image of this video stuck in my head," says the singer. "Every time I listened to the song ‘I Am the Ocean’ I imagined myself starting in a meditative space, slowly standing and knocking things over like a cat, then gradually becoming more and more insane and destroying everything in sight. I just felt right. Something about the madness and the beauty of seemingly going insane in an enclosed space made so much sense to me."

"I wrote this song coming out of a marriage and coming into a pandemic," she continues. "It was equal parts freedom and containment. I found the ocean to be the perfect metaphor for the human psyche: vast, mysterious, terrifying, infinite, and wild; all while being contained by the earth’s shore— the ‘brain’ if you will. How could I incorporate the essence of that without showing literal images of placid waters next to tidal waves? That is where this video was birthed.”
“Unapologetic wildness: that is what this song and this video aim to embody. As a female identifying person, particularly, the societal norms imposed upon me are to make myself smaller, try not to take up too much space, and apologize for my existence. Nearly every woman I know has been told from a young age to calm down, don’t act crazy, cover up, or some variation of any of those; and it’s my prerogative to challenge that norm. Feminine energy is incredibly powerful; that’s why people fear it and try to contain and tame ii. Portraying an earthly manifestation of ocean energy was just that: vulnerable and intentional destruction. Owning and taking up space. Showing the full spectrum of emotion. Feeling both the overt and nuanced qualities of creative expression. Allowing myself to be crazy, to be wholly me."

"And on top of all of this: it’s just really fun to get in a room and smash everything with a baseball bat. Perhaps joy is the final piece of the puzzle.”

Black Snake explores existential emotions related to life, death, transformation, rebirth, strength, and resilience on Sara Jean Kelley’s sophomore EP. Recorded in two days, the album’s six originals feature Kelley’s ethereal vocals, twangy and confident guitar with questioning yet observational lyrics and was produced by Kyle Dreaden.
“Everything about this EP was intentional,” says the songwriter. “From the order of the songs, to the release strategy, to every sound and instrument. We approached every moment and every sound with thoughtfulness and excitement. My producer and I had conversation after conversation about who Snake is and how she would make her way through each song and what that will sound and feel like. In as much as we thought about each sound and song individually, we thought about the project as a whole and how each moment would lead to the next and each song would connect to the previous and the next.”

A river beneath a river with an edgy sense of humor, Sara Jean Kelley is an explorer, a rescuer, naturalist, and an active member of her creative community. Born and raised by the venerable bluegrass songwriter, Irene Kelley, Sara loves wild plants and animals and music and people and has the scars and stories to prove it. Sara’s songs are conceptual, yet relatable. Her voice is timeless, yet singularly her own. And her delivery can shift, like the weather, from dark and sultry, to light-as-a-feather.
A triple Scorpio, she has been compared to Brandi Carlile, Patty Griffin, and Lucinda Williams, and has already shared the stage with legends such as Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell. Sara studied evolutionary biology in Durango, Colorado and her first EP, The Wild explored her connection with the earth, and the soil; the relationship she has with and honor she holds for the natural world.