by Guest Blogger Samuel Allen
New York rockers Shilpa Ray recently released their new album, Door Girl. It’s a raucous, energetic 12-track odyssey exploring the ups, downs, highs, and lows of life in the city in 2017.
Ray, the band’s eponymous (and sole) writer, deftly wields wit and irreverence in describing the facts and feelings of that come with spending 17 years in New York. “Revelations of a Stamp Monkey” voices an everpresent “feeling of impending disaster” while her “heart went to making the rent”. “Add Value Add Time” depicts the constant grind and occasional dizzying anxiety of the day in-day out malaise in the five boroughs, with memories of panic attacks in hybrid cars and Whole Foods markets taking the place of dreams. It’s a wistful rumination on the nature of things never really seeming to get better, and of Ray’s resignation to the tedium of it all.
Door Girl showcases Ray’s chops as a rocker and balladeer. The record opens with “New York Minute Prayer”, which glides along with a waltzy sheen and doo-wop vocals, before quickly shifting into the jangly, call-and-response pop of “Morning Terrors Nights of Dread”. The earlier-mentioned “Revelations of a Stamp Monkey” mixes percussive interplay with a spoken rap of Beck-esque lyrical collages and speeds into the scream-along verses of “EMT Police and the Fire Department”.
All in all, Door Girl is a record that takes you on a journey with Shilpa Ray – through nights out, nights in, visions, desires, disappointments, aspirations, and tribulations. The songs are observations and meditations with a frank, unabashed perspective of just how fucked up things can seem, and just how dulcet it can be to dream. In the album’s closing “My World Shatters by the BQE”, Ray belts out her intention to keep going with life in the city – “I’m sticking around now for the good times to come.”
Samuel lives in Austin. He likes riding bicycles, reading French, taking photos, and mixing old-fashioneds. Sam has been described as “decent on defense” by his fourth-grade soccer coach. His photography and more can be seen at www.sambiguous.com.