MAGNET Exclusive: Premiere Of Kiely Connell’s “Restless Bones”

Sometimes it’s the mundane things that stick with you years after a sudden tragedy. “I still remember walking into school, drenched from the rain,” says Indiana-raised, Nashville-based singer/songwriter Kiely Connell. “The squeaky sounds of my soggy shoes were competing with the announcement on the loudspeaker that we’d lost a classmate.”

“Restless Bones” is Connell’s tribute to a high-school friend who took his own life. It’s a standout track from her big-hearted sophomore LP, My Own Company. Due out via Thirty Tigers on July 19, the album follows a harrowingly honest narrative arc, from the unbearable grief that accompanies loss to the life-altering revelations that come with recovery.

“Everyone who ever knew him was forever changed in that moment,” says Connell of the suicide that rocked her young world. “The memory of my teenage friends thrown into the role of carrying his casket—which they couldn’t fully comprehend or be prepared for—will be imprinted in my mind forever.”

Her hopes of receiving a sports scholarship dashed, Connell bought her first guitar in high school. Later, she trained as a stage actor—and it shows in her dramatic flair for slow-burn storytelling on My Own Company. Produced by Tucker Martine (My Morning Jacket, Neko Case), the album’s lush, lived-in country-rock sound is the perfect vehicle for the emotionally charged subject matter, offering consolation and a warm embrace. Key players on the LP include bassist Nate Query (Decemberists), drummer Andrew Borger (Tom Waits, Norah Jones) and Connell’s longtime guitarist, Drew Kohl.

Among the initial demos that so impressed Martine, “Restless Bones” (though achingly personal) sets the tone for the album’s more universal message.

“I firmly believe that, by being more open and transparent about mental health, we can help prevent this from happening so frequently,” says Connell. “There’s power in knowing we’re not alone.”

We’re proud to premiere Kiely Connell’s “Restless Bones.”

—Hobart Rowland