EP Review: Keep Shelly In Athens – Campus Martius
In keeping with its string of synth-pop releases throughout 2011, Planet Mu presents Keep Shelly In Athens. Unfortunately, there isn’t much information I can give you about the duo. My research produced few answers, but I can confirm that there are two of them, the singer, Sarah, is a very pretty lady and together they make awe-inspiring music.
The EP features three original works and a remix of Solar Bears’ ‘Cub’. The remix is a long drawn, finely-sculpted re-interpretation from the pair, combining orchestral chords, sparkling keys, soul driven deep bass and echoed psychadelic guitars spinning out into space. Lovely stuff.
‘The Chains’ comes next providing deep insight into what the pair is all about. Arpeggio keys lead the way into those beautiful vocals; Sarah sings with a depth and passion that many attempt but few attain. Sparse drums keep it all in frame, and when that bass drops the reverb is powerful enough to rattle the keys as I type. The track grows with each bar, working itself into an exploding crescendo of an ending. This is a really powerful and moving track.
First on the flip is ‘Campus Martius’. Shuddering, spluttering drums stagger forwards until those keys break through, take us by the hand, and guide us through the confusion. Gentle synths rise and fall between the serenity and chaos pulling the two together to create a perfect balance. Vocal slices lightly dust the top and fall into a simple but beautiful melody, but it’s those keys that stick in my mind, taking me somewhere else all together…where nothing else matters. Outstanding stuff!
Finally, ‘Struggle With Yourself’ rounds up the EP. Chainsawed distortion tares into a bass line, while mellow guitar strums pitter in and out of range and are compounded by atmospheric pads that cushion Sarah’s extra terrestrial vocals.
Although I am not the most dedicated follower of the Synth Pop sound I have to say that this EP is excellent. The level of production is second to none – as we’ve come to expect from Planet Mu since its conception – but its the stripped back simplicity of it all that excites me the most. Keep Shelly In Athens create several simple yet beautifully crafted elements and combine them in such a way to produce these otherworldly tracks.
The EP is released on the 5th December 2011 in Vinyl and Mp3 formats from all records shops with any sense of taste.
Release Date 05/12/2011 (Planet Mu)