A jazzy twist to iconic somber sobriety
Greece’s dream-pop duo Keep Shelly In Athens returns once more with their sugary-dismal flavored tune in Defy Me, out now across major streaming media. For those unfamiliar with this trendsetting title, Keep Shelly In Athens formed in 2010 in Kypseli, Athens, Greece by a producer known only as RΠЯ and vocalist Sarah Psalti, who would debut the group with In Love with Dusk that would introduce their powerfully vocal lead downtempo aesthetic with the hit self-titled track “In Love with Dusk.”
In 2014 Psalti would go on to pursue her own solo career, leaving RΠЯ and ushering in new lead vocalist, Myrtha, who would remain for a while until 2017’s Philokalia would usher current-day lead vocalist Jessica Bell.
For any and all who find themselves exploring the vast indie world, Keep Shelly In Athens is a cornerstone trendsetter in the chillwave dream pop genre with excellent LPs such as Philiokalia, In Love with Dusk and At Home, and singles like “Bendable” and “Glistening” as superb stepping-stones into familiarity with their overall vibe. But with Defy Me, the duo takes something more of a veering turn with a tasteful twist of just a spice of jazz into RΠЯ’s synthetic beats with the EP’s first track, “Neon Glare,” emanating a cooling saxophone to coax the mind to ease.
Bubbling to the same cooling somber saxy aesthetic, “I See In Your Mind” follows with its sly rhythm and pace only enhanced by Bell’s compassionate vocals that all-together make for a Blade Runner-esque sound. Taking in a jazz fusion style approach, waning guitars and Bell’s perplexing vocals drive the momentous driving force behind “Hold Up,” with sexy, intense, strewn guitar riffs and a touch of compelling blues like trumpeting for that ‘umph’ of flavor.
With a reminiscent tune of past tracks from Philokalia, the self-titled EP track “Defy Me” brings a synergy with “Seattle,” “We Want More” and “Philokalia,” showcasing those familiar distinctive, powerful wailing vocals Bell brought back in 2017 over the track’s industrial head-bopping synth line.
Dramatically eerie like the fictitious myths that revolve around the item since the origin of fairytales, “Mirror” defines this very description with hauntingly low tempo synths and offset magical reverbs as Bell’s softened vocals coast over this misty melody drawing a close to the EP.
Keep Shelly In Athens has always had this ability to produce something narcotically woeful and splendid. Defy Me is a new experience to loyal fans with the use of jazz fusion added to the mix for a spicy new concoction comprised of everything enjoyable from the past, and something novel to top it.