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Inspiration from Indecision: Kelsey Arsenault Releasing Debut Single “Branches”

Written by Stef Curran

Inspiration lives all around us, flowing through the air waiting to be the spark that ignites something within us. Creatives from all branches of art take this inspiration and turn it into something beautiful that people can enjoy and share. For musician Kelsey Arsenault, that inspiration came from world renowned writer Sylvia Plath. Taking this spark of inspiration, Arsenault was moved to write a song revolving around decisions that we as people have to make, or not make throughout our lives. She titled this song Branches and on June 9th it will be released for all to experience.


Kelsey Arsenault is a singer-songwriter based in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. She credits her love of music and her passion of storytelling to her environment, growing up in Ferryland, NL, “surrounded by stories, storms, and songs”.

Over the last three years, Arsenault has been working on a songbook of original music, which will be spotlighted with the release of her debut album Gallery Walls to be released later this summer. Gallery Walls is Arsenault's call to listeners to dive in deeper and explore the meaning behind her lyrics, painting their own interpretations of the words based on self-reflection and understanding. Arsenault hopes this album will allow people to connect in their own unique way, creating a specific purpose unique to each listener. The album will include 8 original tracks, including the debut single Branches.


Branches focuses on making choices, having to narrow down the many options we have before us in a given situation and the struggle that comes with the thought that we could make the wrong decision. Is there even a “right” decision in some situations? Arsenault found this inspiration within the lines of the story The Fig Tree from Plath’s novel The Bell Jar. The Fig Tree tells the story of a woman who looks up at a tree and sees it's branches as the branches of her life, showing her all of the possibilities that exist for her. As the woman sits at the base of the tree trying to decide which branch her life should follow, the figs on the tree begin to wither and rot away. The woman starves at the base of a fig tree trying to figure out which fig to choose.

Arsenault took this imagery and put it into modern day context, showing the turmoil we face trying to decide which path, or which branch, we should take. This is especially hard when all of our branches offer something fruitful, which can be heard in lyrics like, “All of the branches have something for me". This shows that not all decisions are either “right” or “wrong”, but can sometimes all offer us a different ending and outcome. How do we make these decisions and feel 100% about it, knowing we might have given up something to make way for something else? Arsenault works these questions out within her lyrics, highlighting the back and forth we go through when it comes to making a decision.


With a haunting blend of light airy jazz and classic folk, Branches instantly sounds comforting and peaceful, even when dealing with such a topic that brings the storyteller such confusion. From the moment the first note hit my ear, all I could think about was Elton John. The song opens with the melody played on the piano with just a taste of cymbal behind it, creating an opening sound found in pieces like Billy Joel’s Vienna and Elton John’s Your Song.

Arsenault holds a Degree in Music from Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador with a focus in piano, which is definitely shown here, but what surprised me was the beauty in her voice. As Arsenault begins to sing, I was reminded of incredible singer-songwriters like Norah Jones and Sara Bareilles. The tone is so clear and natural, allowing her truth and vulnerability to float above it all.

As a debut single, Arsenault hits it out of the park with Branches. Even though I would've liked to hear more of the vocals and violin in the mix (mostly because they are done so well), it doesn’t hinder the experience and emotional value that is blended into this song. Branches delivers an amazing view into what is to come from this musician and makes me really excited to hear the rest of her album Gallery View when it’s released this summer.

You can pre-save Branches on Spotify through the link below. You can also follow Kelsey Arsenault on social media for updates on the release of Gallery Wall and other new projects.


Song Credits (from Arsenault’s Press Release): Produced, engineered and mixed by Clare Follett at Bond Street Studio. Additional engineering by Mark Feener at Terra Bruce Productions. Mastered by Jason Whelan at The Sound Solution. Kelsey graciously acknowledges support from ArtsNL, MusicNL and FACTOR Canada.

Link to Pre-Save “Branches” on Spotify:

Visit her webpage:

Follow Arsenault on Instagram:



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