By John Saeger
Rad and Kell are musicians whose work is infused with the rich sound of their Philly heritage. The husband and wife duo of Matt Radomile and Kelly McGlynn first met at LaSalle University almost a decade ago. Since then, they have played a litany of gigs in Philadelphia and the Jersey shore. The pair spoke with The Philadelphia Globe as they were getting ready to drop their second album, Seasons, on November 6.
While writing songs for the album, Radomile indicated that he begins creating music on guitar or piano and the pair share the responsibilities of drafting lyrics. They mostly write lyrics for their own vocal parts as they build each track. “We are never opposed to trying something like that [writing for each other],” Radomile says. “I imagine in the future something like that’ll probably happen.”
Seasons is a project that took over two years to complete. The process was drawn out as the duo played concerts and tied the knot. Album work was sporadic, but the delay in opening the Jersey shore due to COVID-19 measures allowed them to spend time on their sophomore album.
Radomile estimated that over the last six months, “We put our foot on the gas, per say. In doing so, we found our niche and our flow in terms of taking a song, and working on it, and finishing. We worked out a lot of kinks in our process.”
The Philly neo-soul style is apparent from the first notes of Seasons. Their track “Easy” has a warm arrangement that sounds like an early Mayer Hawthorne piece. McGlynn introduces the record with her attention-grabbing verse,
“So let me tell you about my hard times,
‘Cause I know that you’re dying to hear.
Oh, let me tell you about my hard times,
‘Cause I know that you want to stop to compare.”
The track is one of a few on the album that stand out for a vibrant live sound. Radomile estimated that half the LP was recorded live before COVID-19 derailed sessions. Social distancing measures required a little innovation as they tried to finish the record.
“We started doing some remote recording.” He said, “It definitely required some learning on our part. We had some cool interactions where I might have recorded a part at home, a guitar part, a vocal part, sent that out to the studio. I know we had on ‘The Current’ and ‘Seasons,’ we had our keys player record at home and he sent the files.”
McGlynn spoke fondly of their song “Seasons.” “I Love ‘Seasons.’ That might be a personal favorite. The recording process of it… we started off by recording the vocals at home, which to me, felt more organic.”
Her songwriting partner indicated the extension of the recording process allows them to look ahead. “Releasing this is a kind of a big breathe of fresh air. A little sigh of relief, I would say, because we had wanted to release it for so long and we just hadn’t quite finished it and we’re eager to get started on another one.”
Rad and Kell are considering booking outdoor and drive-in shows in support of Seasons. For now, they have a live session scheduled November 6 to celebrate the record. The show will air free over over Facebook and Instagram. Streaming from MNYK Studios in Philadelphia, the unveiling of their new music will also knock off a little rust. The gig will be their first full band concert in six months.
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About the Author: John Saeger is a music and film writer from Philadelphia. Since 2017 he has been writing his pop-culture blog Long After Dark, a site dedicated to the arts in the City of Brotherly Love.