Keep Shelly in Athens is a chillwave/ambient electronic duo from Athens, Greece. The project started in the summer of 2010 as the one-man project of RPR (sometimes stylized as RΠЯ). The band’s name is a pun based on the Athens neighborhood of Kypseli. Within a couple of months, he made friends with a singer named Sarah P, who joined the band as the only other member. With that lineup, they released a few EPs and a 2013 album called At Home. In January of last year, Sarah P left the band to pursue a solo career and was replaced by singer Myrtha. They’re scheduled to release their sophomore album I’m Ready in September of this year.
Keep Shelly in Athens is one of the many bands who I’ve known about for some time, but didn’t really know what they were about. I’ve heard and read people making oblique references to them in discussions of shoegaze, but I had never really heard them until I finally clicked through the soundcloud link in a mailbag submission from a few weeks ago.
“Benighted” by Keep Shelly in Athens
I don’t know how Myrtha’s voice compares to Sarah P’s, but I read that Sarah P was influenced by Tracey Thorn. This song kind of reminds me of Everything But The Girl, so I guess there must be a similarity. I’m thinking mainly of the penultimate EBTG album Walking Wounded (1996). I’m not an expert on the EBTG catalog, as I only have the last three of their 11 albums, but this song reminds me of Walking Wounded. And that’s a very good thing. I wore out my copy of that album and included most of its songs on mixtapes at one time or another.
Sometime in September, the new album will be released via Friends of Friends Records in Los Angeles. Until then, play this song again and again. Play it loud.