Inspiration can spring from the most unlikely of places. A bout of postpartum depression led Kansas City singer/songwriter Riley Brown to create new music. She said she began working on material “right after my son was born when I was feeling a little bit blue.” Under the banner of Shells, Brown will perform wispy, electronic-laced folk-rock material from her new release at a matinee show Thursday on the patio stage of the Riot Room.
In the six track EP, Shells communicates both the pensiveness and the peace – lyrics that have the edge, with calm tunes and a delicate voice that provide the hope. ‘Fragments’ is the tune that will draw you in with a lush orchestral movement at the beginning, segueing into an easy beat with words that are weary with hope.
With wispy vocal layers and zesty electronic embellishments, our introduction to Shells elicits the breeziness of summer. Tucked beneath it is a heavy sense of melancholy, characterized by Riley Brown’s lyrical content and an expansive, cerebral beat. Keep your eyes peeled for a premiere of the singer-songwriter’s forthcoming single next week.
On the second single and title track off debut EP ‘New Bones,’ Shells show ambition, honesty, and an incredible way of reflecting upon past experiences and learning from them…Writing about heartache is definitely not a new feat, but it is hard to find someone who addresses the topic with such maturity as Shells do.
The Autumn Roses reviews Shells’ new single “Treading Water”:
“Tinged with melancholy and melodically complex, ‘Treading Water’ is her generous, intelligent and brand-new single…”
Vents Magazine premieres “Treading Water,” the first single off the debut release from Shells (Kansas City singer/songwriter Riley Brown and producer Ready Astronaut):
“…upbeat melodies and haunting vibes that reminds you right away of bands and artists such as Wolf Alice and Regina Spektor.”
Postpartum depression at 22 is what opened my creative floodgates. I started writing most of the songs on New Bones right after my son was born when I was feeling a little bit blue and only changed out of my pajamas once a week (maybe). A couple songs came from ideas that I’d held onto from a painful experience in a relationship involving infidelity. In early 2015 when I started writing New Bones I was a new mother, newlywed, recent college-graduate living in a family member’s basement with my husband, who was trying to finish graduate school. I would say that “melancholy” is a theme that ties the lyrical content of the EP together, but not all of the songs sound like total downers. I carried the mentality that all of these doors had suddenly slammed shut in my life but writing this music brought peace that I desperately needed during that time.
The Deli Magazine premieres “Somewhere We Exist,” the first single from Ready Astronaut, the new project from The Slowdown’s Josh Johnson, from the self-titled debut album, officially out on CD and digital formats on Nov. 4th. The Deli praises the song’s “varied selection of tones and timbres. Countless strings, keys, and a melodic lead guitar weave a maypole around the periphery while the track is driven by Johnson’s wispy voice, an acoustic guitar, and solid percussion work.”
// Ready Astronaut media page //