SHEL w/ Emma Charles (Landing Pad Stage)
- When: Wednesday, May 27, 2020 8:00 PM (Doors open at 7:30 PM)
- Ticket Price: $16.00 - $20.00
- Door Time: 7:30 PM
- Show Type: Folk
SHEL music is many things sonically, but its coherence and distinctiveness comes from the sisters’ commitment to making every song an honest four-way collaboration. That said, every artist profits from outside perspective, and circumstances aligned in recent years to work with Eurythmics co-founder and world-renowned electronic music creator Dave Stewart, whose production credits include albums with Stevie Nicks, Joss Stone and Ringo Starr. SHEL arranged and recorded tracks in Nashville with long-time producer Brent Maher. Then Stewart, in his Los Angeles studio, sculpted sounds and beats to complement each track. The mandate was to uphold the soul of the songs, the acoustic musicality of the sisters as players, the subtlety of Eva’s lead vocals and the colors of the four-way harmonies.
The other priority for Just Crazy Enough was to capture the intensity of SHEL’s live performance. The answer lay in fully mining the sisters’ wide-ranging talents. Hannah Holbrook says, “We were all instrumentalists long before we learned to sing, and telling a story through melody and arrangement is the part of our work that we bond over most.”
Opener “Is The Doctor In Today” begins quiet with reflective lyrics, but swells with emotion and harmonies as a theme of searching is established. Liza’s drumming and percussion throughout the record is exciting and creative, from the irresistible groove in “You Could Be My Baby,” to her expert beat boxing on “Rooftop.” Hannah plays a hooky Moog synthesizer in “Let Me Do,” which glides around Eva’s voice with an organic inevitability. And after covering Zeppelin on their debut, SHEL risks sacrilege against the Rock Gods once again with their version of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman,” a 180 degree flip on the original, with whispered vocals and almost churchlike solemnity. Near the end of the album comes the unexpectedly vigorous and marching “Moonshine Hill,” featuring a shot of Sarah’s lively fiddle in a slice of pop music heaven. The album wraps with “Stronger Than My Fears,” which grows from intimate folk to unearthly beauty, evoking a heath on the Irish coast or the moon of a nearby planet.
The group’s passion for art of all kinds and irrepressible creativity has been central to their inventive music videos. All contribute to the engaging productions. “We're living our art every day” says Eva Holbrook, “turning our rooms into staging studios, filming on rooftops in Amsterdam, moving pianos into a river. But Sarah is the key to all of it. Her ability as a director, videographer and editor conveys our collective vision.”
Conspicuous in those visuals is an evolved esthetic that transforms thrift store fashion finds into an Alice-In-Wonderland British romanticism. The title of a workshop they offer on the road, “I’m A Weirdo…Are You a Weirdo Too?” tells you some of what you need to know about their self-awareness in a world of mass consumerism. SHEL’s album art features the band with and without makeup -- an expression of their views on individuality and natural beauty. “We love to wear makeup for fun,” says Liza Holbrook. “But we don't believe that makeup or expensive clothing are the things that make a woman beautiful."
In a new music scene that’s crowded, genre-twisting and attuned to mastery in live performance, SHEL's spellbinding live performances tap deep skills as instrumentalists and total trust to generate improbable power on stage. They share some contemporary musical DNA with Americana bands, Punch Brothers and Crooked Still, but just as surely with adventuresome artists such as tUnE-yArDs, St. Vincent and Alt-J. The future belongs to artists who go beyond mere genre blending by focusing on their inner music and the four powerful personalities of SHEL do just that.
22 yo folk-pop savant Emma Charles is able to mix "effortlessly beautiful vocals" (American Songwriter Magazine) that "flutter upwards serenely through the loneliness and darkness like a beam of radiant light" (LA Weekly) with "savvy lyricism and intuitive musicianship offering layers not always seen in contemporary mainstream music" (popMATTERS).
Emma was recently chosen as a 2020 BILLBOARD "Breakout Emerging Artist" (airdate of BILLBOARD studio interview TBD) as well as a "What's Next" artist by the world's largest music compilation brand NOW, That's What I Call Music joining previous What's Next artists Billie Eilish, Shawn Mendes among others. Introspective, relatable and immensely talented, Emma is poised to be a significant presence on today's music scene.
Hailing from the artistic enclave Westport, Ct, in 2019 Emma graduated with honors from the prestigious Berklee College of Music and immediately began performing nationally headlining and opening for singer-songwriters Howie Day and Tyler Hilton. Now, LA based, Emma is writing, recording and continuing to perform.
She returns east regularly to continue her long standing collaboration with Uber-producer Doug Schadt (Maggie Rogers, SHAED, Ashe). Says Doug "It's rare as a producer to come across an artist who is completely open to experimentation, while maintaining their vision of what a song is supposed to be. I think the results speak for themselves. Working on Emma's latest material with her was an absolute joy, and I can't wait for what's next."
Emma's recent releases have been streamed collectively well over 100,000 times and she has new music that will be released throughout 2020.