"Austin-based Musician Kelsey Hughen sat down at her home piano to share a really special song. Check out what she says inspired her hopeful and heartfelt piece Call To You." June 2, 2020 Click here for full performance.
CBS Austin - We Are Austin Dec. 30, 2019
"After living in the Big Apple, Kelsey Hughen is back home in Austin with music that represents a moment in time. We are excited to welcome her to the We Are Austin stage..." December 30, 2019 Click here for performance & interview.
Eastern Soundboard Jan 14, 2019
"Kelsey Hughen channels the spirit of Irish folk ballads, but her work is no simple imitation. Her sound is polished, and her compositions tenderly crafted—so obviously the product of passionate professionals."
Excerpt from article written by Matthew Gilliam after review of a performance at Rockwood Music Hall in NYC.
A&R Factory Aug. 19, 2021
"Classically trained Austin, Texas-born singer-songwriter Kelsey Hughen has released her latest cinematic Celtic folk single, House on a Hilltop; the semi-orchestral single captures Hughen’s genre-fluid at its most arcane. The celestial timbre of the instrumentals sets a fantastical tone, as the lyrics yearn for an escape from the struggle of conformity with the one person that you can strip back the façade with unashamedly. House on a Hilltop is easily one of the sincerest love songs to hit the airwaves this year. The way it captures the security of love that frees us is just beyond beautiful."
Kelsey Hughen grew up as a classically trained singer in Austin, Texas. During her time at University of North Texas she was one of the few non-music-majors to be accepted into the prestigious UNT Concert Choir. It was during this time that she was given her first guitar by a fellow singer in Austin and it changed the trajectory of her musical life. Kelsey dove head first into songwriting and immediately began performing around Austin and the DFW area.
In 2014, Kelsey was given a once in a lifetime opportunity to move to New York City. She took the jump and ended up staying for five years. During those five years, Kelsey became a regular performer at the well-known-and-loved Lower East Side venue, Rockwood Music Hall. She formed a band of highly regarded musicians she’d met in the city, including guitarist and songwriter, Johnny Cuomo, and Riverdance fiddler, Patrick Mangan. This would be the group of musicians who played on her Debut EP, which was funded by a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign in 2018.
Kelsey’s style spans across a multitude of genres, as she herself has been influenced by everything from Jazz and showtunes to classical music and songwriters spanning the decades, thanks to her musical savant of a Father.
During her time in NYC, Kelsey befriended one of New York’s most legendary Jazz pianists, Kathleen Landis, who would invite her to perform alongside her in some of New York's most historic places, such as the Waldorf Astoria. Kelsey adored having these opportunities to sing songs from the Great American Songbook with Kathleen.
As a singer-songwriter, Kelsey’s primary genres could be classified as folk, indie & pop with crystal clear Celtic tones that ring through her voice and instrumentations. Her songs tell stories filled with whimsy and magic, brought to life by cinematic orchestrations and rich narratives.
In 2019, Kelsey moved back to Austin to further pursue singing, songwriting and performing. She quickly was offered a residency at the Parker Jazz Club, as their first resident performer outside of the Jazz realm, where she played two sold out shows before the Covid pandemic.
Kelsey is so looking forward to returning to live performance soon and has stayed busy during the pandemic singing and creating. She dreams of writing songs for TV & film and looks forward to recording her first full length album soon!