SHEL is a group of four sisters (the letters spell the first letters of each of their names) from Fort Collins, Colorado. I saw them open for Sarah Jarosz in August 2011 here in Kansas City. At the time, I was enthralled by their musicianship (they’re all classically trained) and their youth. Their songs seemed gorgeous but uniformly lighthearted and possibly two steps away from performance at a Renaissance festival.
I’m glad to note that their music has lost none of the previous energy but has gained a bit of drama and variety with the coming of their first full-length album (the preview video of which is above). They raised money to produce it through pledgemusic.com (http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/shel), offering custom-decorated top hats, hand-made journals, and even homemade chocolate-chip cookies to special categories of pledgers.
They’ve also managed to get one of their new songs, “Paint My Life,” onto the Noisetrade Summer Sampler (http://www.facebook.com/noisetrade/app_160291820682178), which is free for liking Noisetrade on Facebook. The lyric “love me or let me say goodbye” is now firmly planted in my in my auditory cortex, along with the gypsy violin ornament accompanying.
Their LP drops in 13 days. You can get another song, “Ruby Slippers,” from their previous EP When The Dragon Came Down, free by signing up on their website: http://shelmusic.com/
Clock Opera recently released their first full-length album, which seems funny to me because I was privileged to see them play some of these songs the last two years at SXSW. Their buoyant sound is addictive. This is a video sampler of all 10 tracks.