Grecian electronica-downbeat pop duo Keep Shelly in Athens (KSiA), should change their name to Keep Shelly in Los Angeles because after listening to their new Our Own Dream EP L.A. is where I’d like them to stay. The 12” EP will be released in limited silver and white vinyl (500 total copies) as of November 8, 2011 via Forest Family Records. Get your paws on that shit stat or start planning your trip to Europe now.
The EP rushes in on a swell of ocean wave sounds with “Lazy Noon,” but as soon as you reach the brink of the tide, they sweep you up into smooth hip-hop beats, an entanglement of bass and a decadent little riff on the keys. I certainly don’t mind getting caught in the undertow. Ambient with plenty of sexy swank, a bird-like call fades in and out and 21-year-old vocalist, Sarah, lends her smooth, slightly accented vocals. It’s like the cherry on top of a musical sundae: rich, delicious and you’ll want seconds.
The title track, “Our Own Dream,” slowly descends into a slow, gothic electro-jam accented by slick snare hits and arpeggiated synths. Sarah’s soft vocals provide a contrast of lightness that drifts along the dark and dreamy soundscape laid out by her male counterpart, RPR. The distant, effects-laden ‘hey-heys’ that echo and bounce off invisible walls in the background add intensity. Segue into “ABADBAD – California Birds (KSiA remix)” with a male howl amidst layers of various fuzz, drone and laser beam synth riffs. The use of skipping towards the end of the song seems disorienting at first but becomes a truly pleasant shock. This song feels to me like a long lost, obscure 80’s hit.
“DIY” is a synth-maneuvering buildup amidst a trip-hop minefield of cranks, scratches and funky brass. “Fairytale” is a pure dance number full of robotic noises. A little busy, sure—but fun as hell. Insert your best robot dance moves here. Following up with “a) The Rogue Superhero b) Ready to Pay the Price” is all old school b-boy breakbeats overlayed with repetitive, but playful vocals. A heavy dissonant fade smack dab in the middle of the song quickly transitions into the part b, breaking through to a head-bang-worthy NIN meets Middle Eastern metal/rock riff.
KSiA leaves no stone unturned and there are musical surprises around every corner, even within the small scope of this six-song EP. It’s ambient and sexy, but still rocks and rolls. As one of our previous reviews described KSiA’s music, “It will make you sad, it will make you happy and maybe even euphoric.” I couldn’t agree more and I highly recommend it for late night drives/walks, as a perfect hump day soundtrack or to get everyone trippin’ balls at your next house party. This EP undoubtedly fulfills a wide range of emotional and physical needs. KSiA would make my boyfriend jealous.
The duo hits the states for the first time this November, making a Grimy Goods & Gorilla vs. Bear presented stop in Hollywood at the Roxy on Tuesday, November 8. Tickets to the show are $15 via TicketWeb and Kisses supports. Don’t stay home this time. Grimy Goods is giving away tickets to this amazing show. Take a stab at winning a pair here!
Album Review by Emily Saex
To listen to/download Keep Shelly in Athens’ “DIY” click here.
To listen to Keep Shelly in Athens’ “Lazy Noon” click here.