Comprised of virtuosic sisters Sarah, Hannah, Eva, and Liza Holbrook, Colorado-based indie folk quartet SHEL—an acronym of their first names—cast a unique spell, weaving together folk, rock, Celtic, pop, and just about anything else from their kitchen sink of influences.
The billowing curtains of sound on Just Crazy Enough, the band’s second full length album released in May, are both familiar and far-out to fans of the exciting sister quartet. The classically inspired mandolin, violin and piano are there, along with the band’s glowing vocal harmonies as well as dense, ethereal textures that hover between the digital and the analog.
Grooves are deeper, emboldened with electronic ambience and beat-boxing. The overall effect sheds light on their broad collection of influences, from the daring rock bands of the 60s to the contemplative composers of the 18th century, and even the waves of modern electronica. Just Crazy Enough is a masterful move for SHEL. It’s the integral, front-to-back album statement the band has been preparing to make since they began making music.
SHEL music is many things sonically, but its coherence and distinctiveness comes from the sisters’ commitment to making every song an honest four-way collaboration. In recent years they have been working with Eurythmics co-founder and world-renowned electronic music creator Dave Stewart.
SHEL arranged and recorded tracks in Nashville with long-time producer Brent Maher. Then Stewart, in his Los Angeles studio, sculpted sounds and beats to complement each track. The mandate was to uphold the soul of the songs, the acoustic musicality of the sisters as players, the subtlety of Eva’s lead vocals and the colors of the four-way harmonies.
- Is the Doctor in Today 2. You Could Be My Baby
- Lost as Anyone
- Let Me Do
- Alternate Universe
- I Know
- Enter Sandman
- Moonshine Hill
- Stronger Than My Fears