3

Shilpa Ray: Door Girl

Hrayr Attarian By

Sign in to view read count
Shilpa Ray: Door Girl
Singer-songwriter Shilpa Ray brings her signature pitch black humor and intelligent phraseology to the dozen tunes on her 2017 Door Girl. Most of the music bears hints of retro, 1950s, effervescent rock which contrasts with Ray's mordant poetry and her eerie, expressive keyboards with poignancy and to dramatic effect.

The introspective "Morning Terrors Nights of Dread" for instance opens with an up-tempo, deceptively carefree, beat that buoy Ray's plaintive and somber vocals. Over the smooth, airy melody Ray softly wails "Pacing round the ashes on my floor/Sometimes I wish I could fly out of my window/Weighing down me." The piece concludes with her crying in painful rage, as drums thunder behind her, the haunting call and response of the title with her band mates.

Similarly, the Act II opener, "Shilpa Ray's Got a Heart Full of Dirt" pairs a brutally honest self-examination with languid breezy lines and rumbling percussion. Sardonic humor laces Ray's lyrics as she offhandedly enunciates "I'm a walking parody/For the many ways/I've callously/Escaped the hands that could crush me" and then the refrain " Here comes the point of no return/Yeah who in their right mind walks around backwards?"

Ray also addresses social issues with her unique musicianship. Psychedelic sound effects open "Revelations of a Stamp Monkey." The track quickly coalesces around a hypnotic thump as Ray goes from chanting to singing and expressing her frustration in rap tinged words like "Watched a man gettin' choked on TV/Crying helpless saying' "I can't breathe and then "Black Lives Matter/Blue Lives Matter/All I feel is impending disaster/Two cops get shot/Down the street/One Hispanic the other Chinese."

Elsewhere "EMT Police and the Fire Department" starts with a cinematic ambience of dissonant instrumentation. In front of this backdrop, Ray tells a story with eloquence and wit and then she launches into a rage filled, punkish song. She drops fragments of ironic commentary like shards of glass with a passionate howl, "Racist Barbie's wasted, sippin' from straws/Holler holler's 'bout the back-door fees/Ken's slippin' 50's, he's got privilege son/To melt like wax in debauchery."

This engaging album is stylistically the same as the rest of Ray's output. It is, however, more cohesive and accomplished than any of its predecessors. On it Ray maintains her sophisticated impish fluency and tempers her raw emotion with a mature wisdom. This makes Door Girl her best work yet.

Track Listing

New York Minute Prayer; Morning Terrors Nights of Dread; Revelations of a Stamp Monkey; Add Value Add Time; EMT Police and the Fire Department; After Hours; Shilpa Ray's Got a Heart Full of Dirt; Manhattanoid Creepazoids; Rockaway Blues; You're Fucking No One; This is Not a Dream Sequence; My World Shatters by the BQE.

Personnel

Shelpa Ray: vocals, keyboards; Alistair Paxton: guitars, backing vocals; Nicholas John Stevens: bass, trombone, backing vocals, arp odyssey; Richard Bloody Rich Hutchins: percussion; Jeff Berner:guitars; Christian Lee Buss: backing vocals; Nikki D’Agastino:tenor sax; Robert Preston Collum: backing vocals; Ryan Skeleton Boy: bass; Bone Chi Chi: bass; Julie Hair: samples and noise.

Album information

Title: Door Girl | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Northern Spy Records

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Waterwheel
Daniel Thatcher
New Leaves
Dan Rose, Claudine Francois
Astonishments
Steve Swell
A Swingin' Sesame Street Celebration
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton...
Transformation
Glenn Close/Ted Nash
Special Edition: Procedural Language
Ivo Perelman & Matthew Shipp
Ever Since The World Ended
Lauren White and the Quinn Johnson Trio
Rah! Rah!
Claire Daly

Popular

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.