January 28, 2006
The debut album "Hard Time For The Dreamer" was released in September, 2005 on iTunes and some High Street record stores. Available to order also from amazon.con.
The album was mastered in June 2005 at Sound Record Technology in Cambridgeshire. There are 2 duets featuring Jack Savoretti, an italian New Yorker who is 19 years old ... Shelly was writing with him for his album and loved his voice and style so much she wanted to feature him somehow so they sat together and wrote and recorded "Hope" live in Shelly's studio "Back Room Studios".
The album was produced between Paul Statham's studio "Loki Studios" in East Dulwich and "Back Room Studios" in Hampstead over the space of one year.
The first song written was Totally Underwater, the last song written was Out In the Open, which was finished and mixed the day before mastering, the song Ultimate Rave was bumped for this one.
TOTALLY UNDERWATER VIDEO NOW AVAILABLE!
Shelly has filmed a promo video for Totally Underwater and this is now available to purchase as a download from 7digital.com. Click here for the link.
This is only available as a windows media file however so if you're a Mac user you're out of luck.
SHELLY ON TV
January 17, 2006 Shelly recorded a segment for the "Des & Mel" TV show. The photo shown right was taken by Shelly fan Steve at the get-together at the pub after the taping.
Click here to download a RealVideo file of Shelly's performance on the show. Thanks to Shelly fan-attic Ana for this!
SHELLY TALKS ABOUT THE ALBUM TRACKS
‘Hard Time For The Dreamer’
Track by track in her words
HARD TIME FOR THE DREAMER
I wrote this late at night to a lovely guitar riff that Paul Statham gave me. It’s quite melancholy and was the story of that day. I’m a big dreamer but sometimes it’s even hard to keep hold of your dreams. This was a late comer to the album but in my mind the starting point, sound-wise and sentiment-wise.
I wrote this song alone in my back room, very late at night and after a few glasses of red wine. Alisha’s Attic’s contract with Mercury had just finished and I wasn’t sure where life was going to take me. I was disillusioned and disappointed with humans and the song started off with a bluesy beat and I just started playing and singing and it came out pretty much in one go. It was the first song that I wrote post-Alisha’s Attic and when it was done I knew I wanted to make another album so this song gave me that purpose.
When myself and Paul finally got round to producing this one, we had just got the song up and named on the computer when hail stones started to fall and the outside terrace started filling up with water and before we knew it we were 5 foot under water. There was a massive flood and we nearly lost the whole album - I was pushed over by the force of water when it broke the door down and we both had mild e-coli for a week!
It’s still my favourite song on the album though.
I always write the actual song alone in my studio, I’d been to Paul’s and we had been writing for someone else, he gave me the string line for another song, I got home loaded it into my studio, cut it all up so the chords changed differently to the other song and wrote Little Wonder. It was about my relationship at the time and the conversations we used to have about not being so obsessive in music and life and that I should have a "normal" life and work normal work hours - it didn’t work!! Then at the end of the song I question myself!!
OUT IN THE OPEN
We finished this song, about secrets, the day before we mastered the album. I just love the feel of it.
DONT LOOK THAT WAY AT ME
I love the music for this song. It took a while to get a rhythm so in the end I made the vocal phasing rhythmic so the track could stay as it was. It could fall apart at any minute and sounds so fragile which I really like. The story is fragile too, she’s trying to leave because the relationship is so bad for her
.they play games with each other, but the passion is greater than both of them.
I wrote this with a 19 year old Italian New Yorker called Jack Savoretti for his album. I was asked to write with him for a couple of days. He came to my studio and we both loved the same music and got on so well...... he writes travel-y songs like such a wise old man - it’s weird to see his face when he is singing his songs because he’s so young and ‘pretty’. The concept for this song was strangely enough the movie Out Of Africa. I love this movie and I was telling Jack about the most romantic bit when she has to go home to Denmark (she has got syphilis, which is not actually very romantic!). Her house boy Fara didn’t understand the concept of such a long distance so he said why don’t you just light a fire for me and I’ll see it and know you are safe. Anyway.......... the song is about that really, only with lost lovers, they both move around so much and they can’t have each other but the feeling never goes.
I wrote the music of this really quickly on guitar and took it to my friend Graeme Pleeth. We finished the music together and then I wrote the song again late at night in solitude......the story is the changing dynamics in a relationship with the girl asking the boy to take the lead because life’s a little scary and she wants to follow for a bit rather than lead. The demo was really up and country but Paul and I produced this really differently - we got the hand drums out and had a right good laugh making noises and stripping it back to the song.
LOST IN YOU
Paul gave me this track, I took it home again and wrote it at night, there was a storm and on the original vocal you can hear thunder. This is the only song on the album with a drum loop but it does have all live percussion because I am a bit of a purist about that if you have a tambourine, shaker or hand drums it is so much better to play them as it is easier for the brain to take in the human element whereas when everything is perfectly timed and compressed the brain switches off to it. That is also why I prefer to try and get the vocal in one take to achieve a real human performance rather then total computerised perfection.
But back to the song the story is about friends who are feeling more and more, and feeling bad.
This song had 2 manifestations - initially it had a big Motown feel and then we stripped it down when we had established the album’s sound. It is a story about a girl who’s looking for something and is taking risks. I once went to Italy with a friend with the intention of changing our names and jobs and seeing where it took us. It was a total adventure.....the words say let’s hitch and take a new name....I often think of doing that again.
Another duet with Jack Savoretti. I didn’t want the girl in this song to be the bad one and he didn’t want to be the bad guy so we had an argument about it. I wanted boys to listen and feel protective for the girl and to want to look after her. Also girls always love a bad guy if they say sorry and do a bit of begging
.in fact it is even sexier! So Jack went for it! We sang it live in my studio. I over dubbed a few backing vocals, tidied up the guitar a little (you could hear the chair clicking and creaking) and it went on the album as it was. It took all day to write it because we are both perfectionists and because it doesn’t have regular changes and it’s hard to work out the form of the song but we both just wanted it to run like the story it was so we left it unstructured too. This was fun to do and I loved singing and interacting with someone else after being in such solitude writing other songs.