The SoHo Journal had the pleasure to attend The Shells album release party, and we were blown away.  The fierce female trio who define themselves as "cosmo country" won an MTV nomination for the Best Breakout Artists in New York City— a nod that is well deserved.  



Here’s an excerpt of the press release for the night:
“The Shells, a New York based female singing trio, and their back-up band performed to a packed house at the Canal Room last night for the independent release of their debut album "Written Roads".  The trio is comprised of three young women from different parts of the US:  Carrie Welling from Boulder, Jessica Waltz from Nashville, and Melanie Klaja from Buffalo, who have been hitting the New York City music circuit together for the past four years.  While female singing trios have been quite common over the decades, from the Andrew Sisters to Destiny's Child, there is something quite refreshing about this group that is hard to pin down. It could be the fact that their songs are quite hooky and touch on various genres--with country being the most prominent, along with pop, funk and soul.  It could also be that their voices blend so closely together, it's often hard to distinguish one voice from the others.  Plus the arrangements are well orchestrated and their band members are all solid musicians:  Justin Hines on drums, Scott Stein on keys, Allison Zlotto on Violin, Cameron Mitchell on electric and acoustic guitar, Gary Heimbauer on electric guitar and Darryl Brooks on bass guitar.
The trio showcased 10 of the 12 songs from "Written Roads", starting off with the catchy "Would You Say" and moving to the more country-esque tunes "Stain" and "Wrong From the Start".  Then came "Give A Little", a funky tune with a bit of a punch, followed by the more poppy ballad "Secret".  Their songs often begin with one voice leading that is joined by the other two in a rising, cathartic chorus.  The lyrics as well as the ladies' performances are honest and authentic; you can feel the experience behind their words.  Klaja introduced the song "I Will Believe You" as "a song about truth" and broke into tears while singing lead vocals during the song. "These songs are our diaries," Klaja explained.  The show ended with an encore of their southern rock song "Sunday" (the bonus track on their album), which ends fittingly with a Gospel-feeling chorus.”