What originally started as a Pop band (Super Social Jeez) with a passion for Afro-American music by members Sacha, Benjamin and Celio – SHELMI has taken on a new life. After originally coming together and releasing their debut EP, the trio set out on a small tour to bring their vibes to the people. It was while on this tour that their sound started to sway, driven by their inability to bring every piece out to every show – they instead opted for a bare bones set up of a drum machine, two guitars, a synth and a laptop.
Suddenly, their music began to blur the lines between new school Hip-Hop, French Rap, and British Electronic music. Their new sound featured syncopated rhythms, autotune and airy elements while the songs tended to lean Pop with a borderline Rock edge. The last and final tweak for the group came from vocalist/songwriter Sacha – looking for a more sincere way to reach audiences, he began to write and sing in their native language of French. It was at this point that SHELMI was truly born and brings us to where we are today.
Hard at work in the studio since early 2016, SHELMI is now getting ready to unleash their new album, “No Go Zone”, and the the video for their single, “Nord Hemisphere”, is all you need to get you hooked. Most intriguing to me about this tune is its vibe. While I do not speak French, somehow the lyrics resonate via the melodies, delivery and overall attitude. While the production may seem sparse, built around a synth, bass and drums – not much more is needed here. With the vocals leading the way, the production drives and develops with the tune adding to the tension that builds through the driving rhythms and intriguing visuals.
If you are looking for bells and whistles, this track and video are not for you, but if you (like me) are a fan of minimal vibes jams that are perfectly executed – look no further.
More on SHELMI:
SHELMI is a band that talks about today’s youth and the often-disappointing world that they must deal with. The world-weariness 2.0 described by SHELMI encompasses demos against Macron’s labour-law reforms, the Bataclan attack, police misconduct, Deliveroo, climate disruption, and political abstention. The band’s members provide an inside track on the prospect of a tottering, precarious and unfair future. SHELMI reflects its generation, sacrificed but not lost. Youth that veers between the temptation to be melancholy and the inevitable rising-up. In spite of everything, SHELMI chooses optimism. Their songs deliver a cheerful middle-finger, beholding the world with a humorous and deeply casual eye. Carefreeness and self-mockery become handy refuges, musically transcribed by a fresh pop vibe, a flair for punchlines and a healthy dose of insolence.