With each new release Athens, Greece duo Keep Shelly In Athens continue to push their own boundaries just a little bit further than before and that’s certainly the case with their sophomore full length Now I’m Ready, released October 16th via Los Angeles label Friends of Friends. While downbeat electronic is still the primary musical realm in which they function, KSIA, adventures to explore and experiment in the surrounding realms of pop, drum n’ bass and hip-hop, creating ever expansive and ever lush soundscapes for a listener to lose themselves in.
Now I’m Ready also features new vocalist Myrtha, who joined KSIA after the 2014 departure of previous singer Sarah P., who left the group to pursue other projects. Myrtha’s vocals adds that unmistakable dreamy texture to the music as needed. However, she also flaunts a more determined and pop-inspired edginess at times too, that truly resonates and pairs well with KSIA founder and electronics whiz RΠЯ’s production. You can download the new album, Now I’m Ready, on iTunes or grab the vinyl or CD via Friend of Friends.
Opening track “Fractals” seems most in line, stylistically, with the Keep Shelly In Athens sound that we already know and love. It’s ambient groove and soft sway is the perfect musical embrace.
“Silent Rain” picks up the pace with a pounding beat and heavy ’80s synths, a track ripe for any dark and dim-lit dance floor. Handclaps and eerie theremin like noise included.
“Hollow Man” instantly grabbed my attention with it’s rollicking beat straight out of the gate and almost sinister swirl of electronic sounds. The song seamlessly bounces between drum n’ bass and fluid jazzy muzak, but without ever feeling sterile. If they played this song in an elevator or waiting room it wouldn’t suck. In fact, it’s so damn catchy that despite clocking in at just over 5 minutes long, it feels like the shortest song on the album and over way too soon.
“Hunter” is a spacey jam that kicks off with a smooth r&b bass and wah guitar groove build up, which almost three minutes in unexpectedly gives way to some feverish turntable scratching, and a murky, mysterious hip-hop vibe. Myrtha’s ethereal vocal wail transitions into something reminiscent of melodic metal a la Evanescence. It’s the most subtle but satisfying sonic mash up of sorts.
Southern California fans can catch Keep Shelly in Athens’ live performance at Casbah in San Diego on November 17th (Get Tickets!) and Club Bahia in Los Angeles on November 18th (Get Tickets!). For Northern California and additional North American Tour Dates peep the tour poster below!
Words: Emily Saex
Stream Keep Shelly In Athens’ “Fractals, “Silent Rain,” “Now I’m Ready (feat. Ocean Hope)” and “Benighted.”
Keep Shelly In Athens’ Now I’m Ready Track Listing:
2. Silent Rain
3. Now I’m Ready (featuring Ocean Hope)
4. Line 4 (Orange)
6. Hollow Man