Country Cantadora Kelley Swindall Takes on a Cross-Country Cast of Characters in Video for New Single ‘California’

Debut Single and Video from Velvet Elk Records' Songstress


Known for her soaring voice, unique music style, and sassy storytelling through song, Kelley Swindall’s debut is a throwback talkin’ blues single with a humorous video. In “California,” the NYC-based Southern cantadora goes on a Thelma and Louise-style cross-country journey with a little help from a few colorful personalities along the way. 

Shot on location during a breakneck 3-day filming across New Orleans and Austin, the video for “California” features Swindall playing a wild lineup of characters, from the swindling Susannah to the devilish Gamblin’ Man who derails Swindall’s scheme of making it to the West Coast to get her big deal done. The lively video follows the antics of the unconventional cast, while the catchy song beckons listeners out of their seats and onto the dance floor. 

With a grainy, retro feel, the visuals of the video mimic the raw musical style that makes Swindall such a standout. “It’s much lighter in subject matter and tone than some of the others songs [on the album],” Swindall told American Songwriter. “So it makes a good counter, rounding it out.”

Swindall’s full album, You Can Call Me Darlin’ If You Want, is due for release on Velvet Elk Records on June 19. On it, she showcases her ability to seamlessly blend rugged outlaw country with a throwback roots, blues, and jazz sound. 

Although the Stone Mountain, Georgia native didn’t start out as a songwriter, it was a craft she began to hone after a breakup left her reeling. You Can Call Me Darlin’ If You Want puts that skill on full display. “California” is an excellent introduction to a rising star known for boldly making music on her own terms – gritty, idiosyncratic, and unapologetically fun. 

Check out the video for “California” here.

About Velvet Elk Records: 

Velvet Elk is a humble and tiny independent record label, orbiting somewhere in the vicinity of the rock-history lush East Village of New York City. Originally founded by New York City Americana artist Don DiLego, he later joined forces with Jesse Malin and began signing some of the incredible acts from the East Village music scene, and beyond. 

Their mission statement is: “To somehow seek and create, in the face of any use of common sense, a home for artists we love and who aren’t necessarily “defineable”, and make a record label that lets them do the work that THEY want to do, at a time when NO ONE in their right mind would start a record label. 


Kelley Swindall 

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