Keep Shelly In Athens? Keep us on our toes more like. Amirite? we honestly weren’t sure, or indeed confident, about the future of the Greek chiller cabinet ElectroPoppers when the voice of KSiA, Sarah P, departed the duo to follow her own musical path. When her final track with the outfit, Old Time Glory, dropped we we’re slightly pessimistic that this was the last we’d hear of the group. So often, even with the best intentions to carry on, a bad breakup can spell the end of even the most committed musicians; and even when the music keeps flowing, sometimes it’s just not the same.
With a change of line-up, new singer Myrtha, replaces Sarah P and a new label; the baton being passed from purveyors of good taste Cascine (who released Keep Shelly In Athens début official full lengther At Home) to L.A. based tastemakers Friends Of Friends, there could quite easily be a confusion of direction. It could feel like a whole new band, and as Keep Shelly In Athens unleash some brand new material it’s time to find out if they are still a band we dig.
So it was with some trepidation that we met the recent news of Keep Shelly In Athens sophomore (proper) album, titled Now I’m Ready and due out later this month, and it’s lead single, Fractals. If we’re honest, we were on the fence with Fractals, it was very guitar heavy and very shoegazy; it was nice enough but we missed the waves of hazy synths that made us love KSiA. The album’s second single though, Silent Rain, is more up our street.
We can’t help but feel like Silent Rain is Keep Shelly In Athens with a Post-Punk injection. It’s that The Sisters Of Mercy bassline, chugging away amid a sea of lush Dreamwave style synths, that gives the track a mid-80s Indie urgency. This is more of a ‘live’ sounding KSiA than we have been used to, Even Myrtha’s vocals, as they flit from Shoegaze ethereal to early Indie chants, add to the synthesized floppy haired nostalgia. This whole record could go either way, it could be an exciting excursion in electronic soundscapes that draws it’s influences from the wealth of independent records released in the last three decades, or it could be a Goth-Rock record with a few synths here and there. Silent Rain, thankfully, makes us think it will be the former. If the whole album is filled with similar moments of vintage leaning beauty then we will be happy.
Think Electric Youth meets March Violets meets early Lush meets mid-70s Jean Michel-Jarre. If you can.
♫ Keep Shelly In Athens – Silent Rain
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