“McKelvie has carved himself a niche as a songwriter, combining a rapid delivery with stream-of-self-consciousness writing in a manner so singular that it is never in question whose songs are being played.”


“Solid Chunks of Energy is a wildly entertaining album for lyric nerds and pop fans. McKelvie very clearly knows how to write a pop song and has decided to fill his with all sorts of unexpected magic. It just so happens that the magic happens with a very small set of instruments.”

Independent Clauses

“Rhinestone Busboy is a refreshing take on realizing that you’re getting older — it’s not too self-conscious, serious, or self-deprecating. It just slyly worms its way into your brain.”

No Depression

 “Solid Chunks of Energy has a show-honed tightness. The album’s thought-through, not overworked, sounding as though it developed naturally over many hours of playing or thinking about these songs. Its little rock and roll flourishes always sound intrinsic to the music, never tacked on.”

Salty Speakers

“It was fascinating to watch McKelvie, turning just his voice and an acoustic guitar into wonderfully wordy tracks that just wriggled right into your brain. Even his stage banter was charming.”

Pressure Life

“New Hampshire’s Jake McKelvie & the Countertops have a sound as weird as their name, and after seeing them play in an Amherst, MA, garage last month, I can say that they put on a good (but weird) live show as well.”

The Deli

“It’s hard to analyse music like this, actually. It’s really like being introduced to a friend of a friend, and you just get on, and that’s pretty much it. The music is simple, the songs hummable, the delivery a little nasal, the lyrics excellent and basically you’ll either just like it or you won’t. There’s no pretence, no layers of coy artfulness, nothing much at all really beyond straightforward, to-the-point songwriting…”

Song, by Toad

“…the stories are ones to which most of us can relate from personal experience or, if we are too shy about admitting our own foibles, the experience of ‘some guy we know’. If I had a local pub to which I could walk tonight, this is the band I would like to find playing tonight. But I don’t, so I’ll listen to the album.” 

When You Motor Away

“The band is mammothly tremendous.” 


Other Things of Note

Video Premier on Allston Pudding
Free Music Archive – Live Set on Busy Doing Nothing with Charlie on WFMU
Frontier Music

Valley Homegrown
Fringe Average Podcast