We interviewed Sarah-Anna Psalti (vocals) of Athens dream-pop duo Keep Shelly in Athens about the band’s inception into the music community, their new remix of Postiljonen’s “All That We Had Is Lost,” their future plans, and more.
When did Keep Shelly in Athens officially come to be? Did you make music prior to this project? How do you know each other?
It was during the summer of 2010. RPR (programming/production) was in another band before Keep Shelly in Athens... also he had a solo project. For me, it was my first official/professional attempt, although I have been in music since I was a kiddo. We met through a mutual friend—he was looking for a female singer, I was looking for a band. I call it "the perfect timing.”
How did the name ‘Keep Shelly in Athens’ come to be? What’s the meaning?
There is this neighborhood in Athens that is called ‘Kipseli.’ RPR was born and raised there. It means a lot to him.
You recently released a breathtaking remix of Postiljonen’s “All That We Had Is Lost.” What were your goals with the remix? How did you convey your interpretation of the song?
First of all, thank you for your kind words. "All That We Had is Lost" is a lovely track, it deserved to be nicely remixed. This is a long conversation... the interpretation of the song. I am afraid we all had to get through the phase of demystifying the ones we used to see as the special ones. But as long as nothing lasts forever, even if sometimes it is harder than others, you have to wake up from the dream and let it go. Because all that you had, together, is lost. And it cannot be anything else but a true recollection of what you were.
Let's say that we received mixed feelings. Some people loved it, some people hated it. It is how it is. It is all part of the adventure, though, and all vibes are welcome.
How would you describe the visual sensibility of Keep Shelly in Athens?
Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear; that's all that I can come up with right now. They might appear more distant, but eventually, they are not.
You’ve been on tour with Chad Valley this fall. What does a Keep Shelly in Athens performance look like? What does the live performance add to your music?
We go on tour with the adds of a guitarist and a drummer. That changes it all, as it all sounds more dynamic, more powerful and quite different from the recordings. I like to think of our live shows as arty performances. You see, I am an actress and that shows on stage. The music and the lyrics are the script, the band is the troupe.
How does traveling and touring influence your music?
‘At Home’ was inspired by touring. To be honest--and I will talk just for myself--I am one of those who cannot stay at the same place for a long while. So traveling from here to there, it is always inspiring to me.
Does your environment have much impact on your songwriting?
That probably works more for RPR. We are totally different in this. He is probably the one who enjoys most being at home. But both of us, we remember from where we started, who we are and who and what made us what we are today. So in this case, our environment—and by this I mean family, friends and hometown—is reflecting quite a lot on our music.
What’s next for Keep Shelly in Athens? More touring? Back to the studio?
Hopefully, all these. Hopefully more touring, because songwriting and studio is definitely scheduled to happen in the near future!