Greek dreamwave duo KEEP SHELLY IN ATHENS is definitely not the type of musical act that needs to be the center of attention. Producer RΠЯ and singer Sarah P prefer to hide behind their psychedelic balearic pop sounds of their band. They rather hide in the blur than being whatever other bands tend to be. And still the band managed to create a certain buzz within the past years. Thanks to their strong original tracks and great remixes for acts like TYCHO or PORCELAIN RAFT. Although the band released quite a few singles and EPs since they came together in 2010 the upcoming record At Home actually markes their first ever full length longplayer. Right before the album arrives on September the 17th NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION sat down with singer Sarah and talked about the feeling of home, the current state of the Greek youth and why the state of dreaming is so important for her and the music of KEEP SHELLY IN ATHENS.
Your upcoming debut is called “At Home”. “Home” is a big word and I’m always interested in how people define it. What defines ‘home’ for you?
Home is wherever you feel safe and calm, wherever you feel free to express and be yourself. That is why I feel I have many “homes” and not just one. I find this question especially interesting since I’ve read you were inspired a lot by travelling for the new record… how does this aspect come together with “Home”? First ideas of this album came when we were really homesick and away from our actual homes. We came back and we started recording an album that speaks out-amongt other things- our touring experiences and how can the road and the miles you cross be your new home. At every next stop, you find a new personal space, for you to share with others. I came to this conclusion, that they must be right when they say that home is the people and not just the shelter. You may feel at home, while being away from it.
Your new album is released via US label Cascine, home of acts like CHAD VALLEY or RUSH MIDNIGHT. And it looks like you are fitting quite well in their musical roster. How did this happen?
We are really happy to enter Cascine family. As you said, we feel like we fit well there. It is really important to work with people that get exactly what you are trying to do with your music and help you out communicate it better. We shared appreciation with Cascine for a long while and both parts are happy now that we teamed up.
KEEP SHELLY IN ATHENS: “Blending dreams, passions and fantasies in music”
These are clearly tough times for the Greeks and especially the youth of Greece. What’s your impression of their spirit?
Youth always is characterized by the unsettling and unstoppable feeling. When things get worse, that grows bigger, too, I guess. And that is something history of times has shown so far. Young people will never get down under any circumstances, any hardships. It is just not their nature. People, no matter what, will always smile and laugh and find their way out of the tunnel; it might take some time, but everybody gets there
Do you see yourself as representatives of that troubled Greek youth or is this a bit too much to ask?
We have been affected by that, we won’t lie about it. Representatives, no, part of the troubled youth yes. The thing is – well, most likely – what’s the life path you choose to follow. One day, I said to one of my favourite people in the world “We are not responsible for the world”. His answer was that it depends on the path you follow and the kind of life you have imagined for yourself to live. Well, under that new prism, yes, I would like to think of myself as someone who is getting out there, standing tall in her feet and showing people that “Here we are, we make our music and we feel lucky we can share it with you” . The spirit is always to move on, to overcome the difficulties and the obstacles. And to make it happen.
Your music is quite dreamy, might this be the best form escapism. Dreaming away to music?
Oh, you are talking to someone who is dreaming a lot. Eyes open, eyes closed, I might not sound really modest about it, but I am pretty sure I am having the best dreams in the world. Music can be the perfect way to share your dreams. And dreams are the perfect way to escape reality. Even nightmares are precious. Because they are our nightmares. Dreaming away to music, for sure, that is the best deal. Dreaming awake and blending dreams, passions and fantasies in music. That’s our thing.
What’s the perfect situation to listen to the new album? A special scenario that comes to your mind?
Around people you love, a cozy Sunday at home, playing games, nibbling foods, having fun (so that you’ll make sure that if melancholy gets you, you will also get a nice and warm hug). Okay, hahaha, that is my perfect scenario that fits any situation; if you listen to the new KEEP SHELLY IN ATHENS album while a Sunday like that is on, then, what to say, i’d be happy for you!
As young artists who already created a little buzz in the blogosphere do you think there is a certain pressure arising once you’ve made it in the upper positions of the Hype Machine?
The thing is not to stress about getting upper positions, but to make sure that you get better and better and you evolve. This time we kind of changed our style. We feel we evolved and we are more than happy with the result. Of course, when you make something to share it, you want people to accept it and to embrace it. We never stress out about that, though. And that statement comes from two people who stress out a lot. In general.
Okay let’s play a bit “Your favourite” at this point…
… song at the moment?
I kinda feel now On a neck, on a spit by GRIZZLY BEAR.
… place during the summer?
This year, paradoxically, London
Obsessed with the new remix SELEBRITIS did for our track Recollection.
… thing someone said about your music?
“They’ll make you happy to feel sad” by Paul Lester
… guilty pleasure band of all time?
Not ashamed of anything I listen to, to be honest. No guilt-I listen to it all, like, literally
… place in Athens?
… music to make love to?
And finally … we are called NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION and we are really interested on what these two aspects – hope and passion – mean to you as a band or person?
Well, I would say you can hope for things, but you’ll only get them if you are passionate about them. Passion is what is going to get you where you want to go. Whatever you want fall in love with it and try hard to get it.