Premiere: Kailey Conner Counters The Downward Spiral With Melodic Resilience In “Absentminded”

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Positivity is a great trait to have, but fundamentally, it’s a choice. It’s a proactive mindset one chooses to chase every day, ignoring subtle slights here and there, letting past mistakes serve as lessons rather than burdens, and seeking out vulnerable kindness in all sorts of interactions. Making that choice can be fairly easy. We all want to be the source of a positive ripple effect in the world around us, but actually seeing that through is a challenge. It’s far too easy to succumb to negative fixation — all it takes is just one particularly pointed observation and before you know it, you’ve lost an hour or two looking up behavioral health phenomena to try and figure out what went wrong. (Spoiler alert: there are many more than impostor syndrome.)

So how do you break the negativity loop? Well, for keen singer-songwriter Kailey Conner, you confront it head-on, bringing it front and center so you can examine it with patient clarity. In her latest single, “Absentminded,” Conner lays bare the challenges of maintaining a positive outlook, utilizing a bright musical canvas to explore the delicate dance between the desire for positivity and the ever-present threat of negative fixation. Stirring and intrepid, it’s a pop journey that gives lyrical voice to the often glossed-over struggles we all face. Today, The Auricular is excited to premiere this new rousing single with an exclusive premiere below, one day before its official release on Friday, December 29th.


Marrying candid lyricism with vibrant tones and lively rhythms, “Absentminded” stands as a valuable affirmation, fostering the mental acuity necessary to liberate oneself from negative fixation. Conner’s voice shines with assurgent force, carrying the listener through a poignant journey of emotion and sincerity, as each note swells with a grace that adds a layer of depth to the raw vulnerability woven into the lyrics. Recorded at Don Of Pop Studios in Richmond, the music rises to the occasion, providing a brisk foundation for Conner’s sharp introspection to unfold.

Absentminded\ You’re absent from my mind\ I don’t mind it\ The thoughts are left behind\ Fill the space with all the joy I find,” Conner sings in the chorus, turning the titular description into a badge of honor for emotional perseverance as opposed to the flaky connotation it’s typically associated with. Fueling this reclamation is a sense of artistic determination that makes her words pointed and impactful, penetrating deeper with each weighty verse (“Been spending too much precious time trying to impress\ Hyperfixation was the key to making me depressed\ Please clear the clutter in my brain”). Underneath this restorative expression, the music rings with a rich timbre that lights a spark of therapeutic inspiration, ensuring the entire song resonates with sincere passion.

“Absentminded” is the second single from Kailey Conner released in 2023 following the effervescent self-reproach “Sensitive” back in January. The two songs bookend a year that saw the probing songwriter raise her stature in town with sensational live sets in venues all over the city. In March, Conner was featured on Shockoe Sessions Live for their special Quatres Femmes episode, and she also took the stage at The Camel as a part of the Woman Crush Wednesday concert series. In June, she was selected for the intimate Writers Round hosted by Central Virginia music platform Ignited at Spacebomb Studios. Additionally, Conner’s music was included on The Auricular‘s special compilation The Richmond Sound: 2018-2023 released in September, and she also performed as part of the publication’s fifth anniversary celebration at Rare Olde Times.

Closing out 2023 with focus and grace, Conner heads into the New Year with clear momentum after cementing herself as yet another remarkably talented singer-songwriter within Richmond’s teeming scene, writing with grace and recording with a focus that helps expel all the intrusive thoughts weighing down her progress. With “Absentminded,” Conner provides an early source of emotional fortitude as we all head into a new year full of unknown promise, something that can easily turn into wonder and success if you keep these driving lyrics and dancing melody fresh in your mind.

“Absentminded” is available on streaming platforms on Friday, December 29th and you can pre-save it today by clicking on this link. To stay up-to-date on Kailey Conner’s next show or release, make sure to follow her on social media or bookmark her website.


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