Shilpa Ray is a strange animal. Some folks classify her in “punk” but it’s not too much because her music but more for her rebel attitude. On her latest album, “Door Girl”, she does let out some character on a few songs but often plays the part of the retro girl.

Morning Terrors Nights of Dread is a good example of this bipolar music style she embraces: a very doo wop gradually becomes a heavier as she lets go a few strong screams as only Nina Hagen could relate to. As “Door Girl” evolves, Shilpa Ray alternates between cool reggae (Add Value Add Time), fiery punk music (EMT Police and the Fire Department) and childhood-like ballads (After Hours). She leverages her melodic talent on songs that almost sound like pastiche of music from the 50s and 60s, like Rockaway Blues. What she is talking about is always punk, though, charged with emotion and protest.

 

Her Wikipedia page unveils her background and path through earlier years of life: “A report in the San Francisco Examiner describes Ray’s New Jersey upbringing as an Indian American from an immigrant family as contributing to her having a “scrappy” demeanor. As a youth, she was mistaken for an Iraqi and “pelted with beer cans” by hooligans. She dealt with restrictive parents who banned Western-themed music and learned to play the harmonium and piano beginning at age six. In her high school years, she became a stealth Goth and listened to music by punk rock bands”.

 

A first album was recorded in 2006 under the band name Beat the Devil, which mixed punk music with her Indian music heritage. Ray launched her band Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers in 2009, playing at SXSW in 2011. That same year, she took a break from the band to participate in Nick Cave’s world tour as a backup singer. He produced her first solo EP in 2013, “It’s All Self Fellatio, Shilpa Ray”. Her three latest albums came out under her own name, on the Northern Spy label.

ShilpaRayDoorGirl

SHILPA RAY
Door Girl
(Northern Spy, 2017)

-Genre: indie rock retro

Buy the album on the band’s BandCamp page
Follow the band via their Facebook page
Listen to videos on the label’s YouTube channel

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About The Author

Nicolas Pelletier

Mélomane invétéré plongeant dans tous les genres et époques, Nicolas Pelletier a publié 6 000 critiques de disques et concerts depuis 1991, dont 1100 chez emoragei magazine et 600 sur enMusique.ca, dont il a également été le rédacteur en chef de 2009 à 2014. Il publie "Les perles rares et grands crus de la musique" en 2013, lance le site RREVERB en 2014, et devient stratège numérique des radios de Bell Média en 2015, participant au lancement de la marque iHeartRadio au Canada en 2016. Il dirige maintenant la stratégie numérique d'ICI Musique, la radio musicale de Radio-Canada.