Photo: Melissa Madison Fuller

Kellen of Troy Issues a “Posthumous Release (In Lieu of Flowers)” (premiere)

The former Apache Relay member shines with his new project on this rollicking tune, mixing heartland roots rock with chamber instruments to soaring results.

Kellen Wenrich was five-years-old when he first picked up the violin as his instrument of choice. Since those early formative moments, he’s found international acclaim as an integral part of Apache Relay. Though that band has since dissolved, Wenrich’s musical journey continues with a project of his own, Kellen of Troy. His debut full-length, Posthumous Release, is coming out on 16 February. Prior, however, his newest, vibrant folk-rock is first finding a home at PopMatters in the form of the album’s titular single.

“Posthumous Release (In Lieu of any Flowers) is about somebody that I used to know,” Wenrich tells PopMatters. “Life happens and people grow apart; specifics beyond that aren’t really important to me anymore. I’m sure whatever you discern about the tune is somewhat accurate to what the song’s about.”

“Jimmie Haskell was a huge influence on the strings and horns chart I wrote for this tune. In case you don’t know who that is, Jimmie was a prolific composer and arranger who, most notably to me, did some if not all of the arrangements on ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’. He also worked with Elvis, the Everly Brothers, and countless others.The chamber music instruments you hear on this song are admittedly my best attempt at copping his style; obviously, my charts fall far short of his, but I hope the influence is apparent.”

“I started writing Posthumous Release walking out of the Columbia Hotel in London and finished it later that day in the streets of Bristol. I was on a tour with my former band Apache Relay, and our frontman Michael Ford Jr (now of Airpark) mentioned he’d been listening to Milk and Honey by John Lennon, which is, of course, a posthumous release. That term stuck in my head for some reason, perhaps as I was on the tail end of a breakup at the time, and I thought it would make a cool song. By the time I got back to the states had I decided it would also make a cool record title.”