Music for the DMV

by Elizabeth Joan Kelly

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“Kelly’s atmospherics capture the emotional spectrum the human soul can traverse in this squat, beige hell.” – The Wire

“While one would think that relaxing sounds would be the best thing to help survive another license renewal, Kelly uses a variety of shiny textures and bright melodies to instead provide distraction. And there’s plenty of that to be found here, as well as charm, especially in the three tracks classed as Gymnopedies. Best of all, however, is Call My Number, which has an almost comical sense of yearning and absolutely reminds me of that time when the scheduling system crashed at the DMV and I lost my place in line.” – An Earful

“The end result of this digital collage of classical pieces with unique audio treatments is an artistic and detailed sonic work that one need not visit the DMV to enjoy. For those of you who are unfortunate enough to have business to conduct at the DMV, you might want to bring this album with you. The calming and intriguingly arranged music contained therin just might make your stay a little less unpleasant.” – Houdini Mansions

“The tracks range in mood and timbre, with “Bouncyland” being one of the cheerier, more melodic pieces. There’s a hint of playfulness in the bubbly drum machines and keys that would probably make the DMV (or DOR as we call it here in Washington) seem a little bit less of a soul-sucking bureaucratic nightmare.” – Ball of Wax Quarterly

“…the track [“Call My Number”] can simply be termed as beautiful. Soft, gentle tones with an angelic voice make this a stunning end to the album and sees Elizabeth on top form.” – hiapop

“‘Industrial Ambient Prelude’ is Chopin with a house beat. ‘Club Clanger’ is jarringly busy, whereas ‘Bouncyland’ is loads of fun, with an all-drum breakdown that Big Freedia might sample. Many of the rhythms here are inventive enough that you want to hear them outside the 8-bit context, with brighter synths and bigger drums.” – ANTIGRAVITY Magazine

“A pretty unusual but wonderful listening session;” “a honest electronic album that you should hear immediately!” –Yeah I Know It Sucks

Brian Eno's Music for Airports aimed to create ambient soundscapes, equally appropriate for listening as they are for ignoring. Airports can be places of great joy and anticipation as travelers leave for vacations or return home after long journeys, and Eno's soothing sound installations echo this mood.

The Department of Motor Vehicles, or DMV, however, is not a happy destination for anyone. The closest thing to an eager DMV visitor is a teenager taking their driver's test, and even that is an experience tinged with anxiety. Music for the DMV, therefore, seeks to mimic Eno's example of creating background music to fit a specific location, but acknowledges too the inherent agitation and uneasiness associated with a trip to the local vehicle registration and driver's license office.


released August 21, 2018

Credits for samples and loops appear in the metadata for individual tracks.

Album art is "Flume in Switzerland" by fabio on Unsplash (

To my lovely, amazing, hilarious, brilliant, handsome, and talented husband, who got me making music again


all rights reserved



Elizabeth Joan Kelly New Orleans, Louisiana

Elizabeth Joan Kelly is a New Orleans-based classical and ambient/industrial electronic music composer. She uses found sounds and MIDI to create lush soundscapes influenced by Zola Jesus, Nine Inch Nails, Portishead, Fever Ray, and The Knife.

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Track Name: Call My Number
I've been waiting
For so long
I'm surrounded by people
But I'm all alone

Why won't you call my number?
Why won't you call my number?

I've been waiting
For so long
I've been waiting for hours
Won't you ever

Why won't you call my number?
Why won't you call my number?

I can't wait anymore (x10)

I've been waiting

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