Going to revisit some familiar territory …
Grecian chillwave act Keep Shelly in Athens have been a longtime fav of mine, spinning blissful beats of heavenly relaxation and horizontal retreat. I’ve written about them a few times, here, here, and here. So I’ll keep the chit-chat to a minimum. And if you need to know more, you know where to look.
That said, their latest spellbinder of a single, titled “Deceivers,” covers some unexpected ground, a little jazzed and torchy, a ’70s bassline groove that slips into late ’80s progression, electro-styled, some slight menace, ultimately settling into the upside-downtempo of sax and velvet.
Over the years, dating all the way back to 2010, Keep Shelly in Athens has consistently been a duo, instigated by RΠЯ, (which I’m still not sure how to pronounce), and a dreamy female vocalist, of which there have been many … Jessica Bell, Myrtha, and the original Sarah P.
At this point, a decade down the road, I’ve come to accept Keep Shelly in Athens as RΠЯ’s act, featuring an array of talented guest vocalists, one per album – that is, until recently, where each single seems to have someone new along for the ride.
Curiously, despite the rotating roster, the chilled out rhythms have remained consistently cool in ambiance, a bit of heaven-scent effervescence that never ceases to entrance and relax, each vocalist lending a unique yet familiar redolence of sunswept haze, laze and daze.
“Deceivers” moves the needle a bit off-center, expanding and expounding, but never losing the leisure and lounge. The aural deviance comes courtesy of the latest collaborator, Astyplaz, who’s a fellow Grecian fourpiece, styled in like-minded synth-based pop and beach-oriented beats, albeit a bit more vertical on the up-tempo.
That sort of breaks the mold of the Keep Shelly in Athens duo. But Asytplaz feature the vocal allure of Dioni, so the tradition continues in ethereal sound and feminine spirit.
Curiously, Astyplaz haven’t been too active in recent years, their last album dating back to ’08, with a handful of danceable singles since then. Truth be told, I’ve only just heard about them through this single, so my knowledge is somewhat limited. But I like what what I’ve been hearing.
Here’s Keep Shelly in Athens’ “Deceivers,” followed by a few choice picks from collaborators Astyplaz.
Keep Shelly in Athens’ latest single “Deceivers.”
As promised, three varying shades of Grecian fourpiece Astyplaz, two from their ’08 album “Bi,” the seemingly Keep Shelly inspired “A Moment to Say Goodbye” and the ebullient synth-pop of “An Endless Rewind,” followed by the darker deeper intensity of the more recent “Lifeaholic,” released as a standalone ’19 single.
“A Moment to Say Goodbye” from Astyplaz’s ’08 album “Bi.”
“An Endless Rewind” from Astyplaz’s ’08 album “Bi.”
Astyplaz’s ’19 single “Lifeahoilic.”
Keep Shelly in Athens: