It’s always nice when an artist picks a name that’s reflective of their music. Kent-born SHELLS has a particularly delicate style of R&B-tinged pop that’s distinctively minimal. She could have chosen to jam pack her work with sounds from her travels (she’s been everywhere from Japan and Ghana to South Africa, where she learned to play the Cora), but chooses to hold back and just show glimmers of these exotic sounds. But, as they say, less is more and this quality over quantity approach helps SHELLS’ music to stick in the memory.
So with her latest single ‘Jagwar’, it’s no surprise that SHELLS surrounds her distinctive, soulful voice with small bursts of plucked strings, downbeat synths and finger snaps. It’s only at the song’s end that things really come to a head, with squalling electronics being added into the mix, giving off faint Oriental vibes. It’s a sparse, haunting pop track punctuated by gorgeously intricate production. With a slew of European and UK dates also in the running, SHELLS’ career doesn’t seem at all fragile.
Words by Eugenie Johnson
Tipped by Elena Jimenez from Popped Music
Generator North East, The Manse, Kingsland Church Studios, Priory Green, Byker, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE6 2DW
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