The Montana Freemen

The Montana Freemen

In the Vinland Elementary School yearbook of 1992, you can read what every 6th grader of the graduating class wished to be when he or she grew up. Skim through the football players, movie stars, and veterinarians and you’ll find at least one entry that reads like prophecy: “David Kelley, Songwriter.”

Eighteen years later, with a catalogue of 300+ songs, Kelley’s passion for creating music has yet to wane.

Over the years, Kelley has performed as an instrumentalist touring with a number of bands, a street percussion group, and even a theater company. Off the road, Kelley has collaborated on a number of other creative projects, including the composition of musical scores for indie features and shorts.

In April 2009, after a stint of couch surfin’ in New York, two years working the scene in LA, and a few overseas adventures, he packed his bags and moved to Auckland. The ever-inspired Kelley wasted no time banding together with Kiwi musicians to produce new compositions, performing with various line-ups both as a rock band and a quiet acoustic group.

In addition to performing under his own name, Kelley heads a number of groups and recording projects—most notably, the always changing and ever-evolving band, “2 a.m. Orchestra.”

“Dark harmonies and compelling melodies performed with equal parts sombre emotion and stark perfection.” (NZ Musician Magazine)

“Not everyone is born with bottomless songwriting ability and musical talent in broad strokes, but Kelley evidently was” (95 bFM)

“Great vocals and easy-going rock grooves.”(Rip It Up)

“2 a.m. Orchestra has delivered an album that is worthy of superlatives. Impermanence deftly translates the chaos and elation of life, into uplifting and well-arranged rock songs – songs fused with eclecticism, vigour and exuberance.”

“If you’ve not already discovered the wondrous 2 a.m. Orchestra, you’ve been missing out big time – get the EP.
(Amanda Ratlicliffe,

“Kelley has soothingly sweet pipes that can best be described as Ben Folds with a little Elvis Costello thrown in that will have you wanting more from the group.” (

“2 a.m. Orchestra plays alt-pop with all the ups of a Ben Folds record and all the downs of a Radiohead epic.” (Performing Songwriter Magazine)

“This is an album of dignified beauty and loss which you will return to again and again.” (Zeitgeist Review)

“Frankly, there are moments on this album that are just beautiful. The band seems to lean heavily toward creativity and poetry, mixing acoustic orchestral elements with rock elements. This album has made me want to become a permanent follower of 2a.m. Orchestra.” (

“From start to finish, the self titled release by 2 a.m. Orchestra is a damn fine album. The songs are richly orchestrated, catchy as hell, and oftentimes revel in a dewy eyed wonder of the world. One of the finer albums of the year and one that reveals its many pleasures with each listening.” (Terry Eagan,

“This disc is a stirring listen. Youll listen hard, youll listen repeatedly, youll shush your loved ones not wanting to miss a moment of the pure emotion embodied in these songs. I want to hear everything else they release(d), past, present and future.” (

“…a myriad of bells and whistles that brandishes that sort of eclectic style that Radiohead does so well… Often their tracks have a brooding orchestration that makes you think it’s a {movie} score rather than an album… Great album!” (Smother Magazine,