Like a Balearic Fleetwood Mac sending disco waves across a sunset drenched beach, ‘Bendable’ by Keep Shelly in Athens possesses a enduring pulse that demands to be put on repeat. Crisp drums swat off an echoing electric guitar riff, and Jessica Bell’s voice pours in adding space and depth to the track. It’s a timeless offering from a band who is finally beginning to find some stability after years of change.
In 2010, Keep Shelly in Athens was formed by producer RΠЯ and singer Sarah P. The Athens-based duo signed to Gorilla Vs. Bear’s Forest Family Records that same year and released their debut 12”, quickly becoming one of the internet’s most talked about groups. They unveiled their debut full LP in 2013, but one year later Sarah P. left to pursue her own solo project. In March of the same year, Myrtha was announced as the band’s new singer and then departed at some time before 2017, when Jessica Bell took over vocal duties, ahead of the release of their most recent LP, Philokalia.
Things seem to have finally settled down for the group, with Bell sticking around for the release of new tracks, and it feels like Keep Shelly in Athens is ready to ascend to the top of the indie pop world. ‘Bendable’ is one of two new offering from the group, along with ‘Glistening’.
Much like the band, but in a more literal sense, these two new tracks were forged in fire. “Jessica was actually sitting by the sea in the Peloponnese when writing the lyrics to both these tracks,” explained RΠЯ to Consequence of Sound, “and literally hours later, she almost got trapped in the July 2018 fires in Kineta.”
The experience gave new meaning to the words Bell had written. In them, she shows wisdom and understanding for the world’s unpredictable nature, “I’ve been hearing sounds/that I find incredible/If I’d realized/the world was so bendable/I’d be on the way/and without a doubt regrettable/I’d feel alive/and I’d be less cynical,” she sings once coming in over the track. There is understanding in the improbability and untethered nature of moments here, and a desire to experience life without fear.
For the better part of a decade, Keep Shelly in Athens has been a part of the music landscape. They have gone through change after change while circling the globe, playing shows in far flung destinations. On ‘Bendable’, the group realizes the only constant is change and it gives them stability, and through that they understand the unpredictable nature of the world.
HURRY – LISTEN – KEEP SHELLY IN ATHENS