One Day At A Time

25 September 2008

As a preview to my new Rocking Horse album, we will be releasing a double A side single on November 10th 2008.

The songs ‘What To Do’ and ‘One Day at a Time’ feature on the single which will be available via download on the One Little Indian store and from all major download sites.

I am so happy to be able to share this new music with you. It is a completely new direction for me and I am really curious and eager to hear what you all think!

(photo by Lara Jade)

I will soon be publishing a journal on this site which I kept whilst making the Rocking Horse album with Max Richter in Edinburgh and Glasgow, earlier this year, for now, here’s an excerpt from the journal about writing the song ‘One Day at a Time’.....

Of my own songs, One Day at a Time is one of my most favorite and I really go to another place when I sing it. I wrote this song about facing challenges and growing with someone through life.I wanted to try and capture an essence of the beauty of loving another person and how it feels very natural to learn and grow together. The many lessons and struggles we face as human beings passing through this very transient, mysterious space and time are constantly teaching us how to develop and become stronger, hopefully wiser.
I share this journey day by day, through life’s many challenges and experiences, and through caring for deeply for someone, we can learn more about the world and each other.
I hadn’t before been able to capture my deep feelings of gratitude and profound appreciation for being able to share this incredible journey with my companion. For some reason, this is one of the hardest things to write about. It is, I suppose a great challenge to write about love in a way which is fresh and without sounding trite.

I wondered when I was writing One Day at a Time, if I should try and develop the chord structure to move somewhere else and if I should make this song go to different places melodically. However, much the same as life and our journey together, One Day at a Time remained dreamlike and hypnotizing and its beauty seemed in the way it simply started as a statement or testimony of love and deepened in its visual elements of nature, such as the eagle and the the trees we have often admired on our journeys and the walks we have taken throughout our time together.

Many of my songs are based around hypnotic and repetitive chant like patterns. There is something very attractive and mesmerizing to me about the cyclic nature of music and I am often experimenting with ways of expanding an idea that doesn’t necessarily rest on chord changes. If a song can remain on the same chord pattern for its entirety, it must be a very strong chord sequence.

I didn’t really know what the chords were that I wrote for the music, they came from just playing around and exploring different shapes on the guitar but people seem to find them a strange combination when they hear them. I suppose that is one of the nice things about not knowing music in the formal sense, you are more likely to experiment and put things together which don’t necessarily work on paper. I love that and have to remind myself when I get frustrated about not being able to read music or play the guitar well, that this is probably what makes me explore unpredictable musical places and therefore, results in more natural and obscure melody.

The vocals to this song are fragile and almost hymnal and quite challenging so I was relieved when we completed recording them. It’s important to totally lose oneself in the song but also to retain a control of breath , so that tuning is not lost, if you get too excited or emotional, this can sometimes make it hard to focus and deliver a decent performance. After years of singing, I realize that this is one of the most important elements of performance. I am still not the best at staying in tune and would rather give myself and the song over to feeling the song and vocals with my heart but luckily, I managed to sing the vocals fine and am very in love with the way this song has turned out.

One Day at a Time has captured, for me, the ethereal nature of our journeys around the beautiful woods of California, seeing Eagles and wonderful mountains and all the learning that comes from traveling together. Sleeping under the stars, not knowing what will happen next but feeling safe in the arms of the earth and the wonderful adventure of a free and spirited life. This song is my prayer and testament to the beauty of nature. Favicon Bookmark on   Digg Favicon Bookmark on Digg   Reddit Favicon Bookmark on Reddit  


23 responses to this journal entry:


On 26 August 2008 Brodie-Ann said:

I can’t wait to hear this song and the single!
I will definatley be buying one. Thank you for sharing your personal insights into the song also- it rare for an artist to be so open about both their inspirations for a song and it’s also its physical development and songwriting approach.


On 27 August 2008 vincent said:

*looks around for music, not seeing any, reads journal entry, decides to go check the myspace page and crosses fingers in hopes of hearing an excerpt of Kelli’s new and very likely beautiful tunes*

like the looks of new site, i’m a big fan shades.



On 27 August 2008 Robert said:

Gorgeous, really enjoyed the new tune. Kelli, you could sing “Old Macdonald had a Farm” and it would get me off. The fact that you are constantly experimenting and and growing reminds me of some of my other favourites, Kate Bush and David Bowie. Your style and voice are completely your own but the similarity lies in the one constant; change… You belong to us now, Ms. Ali. Keep on doing what you do. We appreciate it immensely.


On 27 August 2008 Andy Gosling said:

@ Vincent > the music player is on the homepage (top right hand corner just under the main menu).

Love that tune Kelli. Lovely photo by Lara Jade too.


On 27 August 2008 Równowago said:

Beautiful song!! I wrote about upcoming album and “One Day At A Time” on my blog smile)


On 29 August 2008 Dave said:

Great song Kelli, really looking forward to hearing more from the album.

Take care



On 29 August 2008 Travis said:

Definately a new direction! reminds me of tear drop a little, but definately original and mesmerizing! So after the album release when your next tour? und more importantly when do we get to see you in Portland and Seattle venues:) Can’t wait to get the new album and concert tics! Congrats on the hardwork and keep blooming like the beautifu flower you are sister!!l


On 31 August 2008 Muffy St. Bernard said:

Beautiful! The cyclic nature certainly adds to and highlights the simple, central message. This is a real goosebumpy gem.

And that sounds like a real glass harmonica in there…complements your voice and the organ perfectly.


On 03 September 2008 blue said:

Ever since discovering you way back when and realizing with BecomingX that there wasn’t another you out there in the world of Music.

Have loved all your collaborations and am without a doubt looking forward to your new album and it will be purchased for a few friends as well to “re-introduce” them to you.

PS- I know its been said a million times but make this a million + 1 , “SP” made the worst decision EVER in getting rid of you but I bet you already knew that.


On 03 September 2008 Braulio said:

Hey Kelli. I just wanted to drop by and wish you luck on your new album. The songs sound great.

I made a video with one of your songs from the album Psychic Cat. I hope you like it. Here is the url:


On 11 September 2008 Dr. Lee said:

Kelli ! ! !
One Day At A Time is absolutely gorgeous!
It’s so mature, clear and pure.
I am looking forward to buying and hearing the whole album.
Great art Sista.

Dr. Lee


On 12 September 2008 Muffy St. Bernard said:

Can we make November come faster, please?

Not because of the snow, but because of the single, of course.


On 13 September 2008 Eddie said:


Just wanted to let you know that ever since I heard your voice at Sneaker Pimps it still gives me goosebumps!

I can’t wait to hear your upcoming album!


On 14 September 2008 Anon said:

kelli i love your voice to death.. but Seroiusly?!  why did you switch to 70s folk music? wow Not my favorite sound from you sorry!


On 23 September 2008 Muffy St. Bernard said:

How much are the Cottingley Fairies charging these days? They don’t get around much anymore…


On 06 October 2008 Blichers Band said:

Very, very beautiful.  Thanks so much for sharing with us!


On 08 October 2008 mambo said:

Will you be making a video promo for this release?


On 17 October 2008 Ben said:

you have such a gorgeous voice. keep on keepin’ on


On 19 October 2008 Ben H said:

I love musicians like you who constantly stray from the norm.  True music comes from within, not from what record execs think will sell.  I still listen to Tigermouth, psychic cat, and kids often because this music never gets old.  I’ve been waiting a long time for this album,  and I can already tell its going to be fantastic!  Any chance you’ll be touring the states?  If so please, please, please come to denver.


On 20 October 2008 Mandy said:

I really love your voice.. I am planning to buy your cd, I wanted it to be added on my collections.. Thanks!


On 10 November 2008 Kevyn x said:

Listening to this track it takes me to a place of sunsets, birds flying, and wind in my hair. Then reading your explanation of this song, and what inspired you to write it… it amazed me how much i pictured this song being about the feeling of nature closing around you. You discribed this in such a beautiful and delicate manor. after reading what this song is about.. i have a whole new appreciation for it when i play it.

Beautiful, kelli! Thank you!



On 21 November 2008 host said:

Nice song! really looking forward to hearing more from the album. Thank you for sharing with us.


On 04 March 2009 OlivaB. said:

I really like “Heaven’s Door.”  Your voice kinda reminds me of Sarah Brightman and Joan Baez.  I also like the use of the banjo in the song as an active instrument.  It works really well with the violin.  Your voice is so soothing and relaxing.  What a wonderful song.

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