FROM SOULFUL POWER BALLADS TO FOOT-STOMPING ROOTS ROCK
Over the course of her career as a performing singer-songwriter, Shelly Phelps has brought a primal authenticity to her emotionally-raw story-telling as she carves truth from the human condition. With themes of desire, rebellion, love, grief, and transformation, her lyrics are translated through vocals that range from deep and soulful to powerful, gutsy bravado.
With diverse influences like rhythm and blues, retro soul, jazz, country, and rock, Shelly focuses on reflecting the heart of the songs she writes rather than settling into a specific genre. “From soulful power ballads to foot-stomping roots-rock, Shelly brings a ‘lay-down-your-burdens’ experience with her rich, contralto vocals, and the dark, warm threads of connection.” For instance, consider the lines from her newly released single, “Singing the Bones”: “I'm singing fire and power and I’ve claimed it for my own” or from the previous single “Legendary”: “Back me against the wall. You can push me but I will not fall and every time you try to erase my name, I become Legendary.”
Both “Legendary” and “Singing the Bones” were released in advance of her upcoming album, Singing the Bones, set to be released in 2023. Phelps is accompanied by her band “The Storm”, featuring Than Medlam on lead guitar, Joey Albin on bass guitar, and her husband, Jeff Holmes on drums. The band has joined forces with engineer and producer, Michael Trepagnier of Cardinal Song Studio in Oklahoma City and Kendrick McKinney on keys.
“The whole album has a theme of ‘rising from the ashes’, reclaiming your place in the world, and setting things upright.“, explains Phelps. “It’s moody and raw and there’s a defiant swagger to the whole album, but with an air of positivity to some darker subject matter.” Phelps also includes songs of love, desire, and joy. “I would be remiss if I didn’t express the full gamut of the transformative experience.'', she said.
For Phelps, one of her greatest pleasures of writing, recording, and performing is connecting through music that expresses shared truth. “I don’t necessarily want to make people forget about their troubles.”, said Phelps. “I want them to know they aren’t alone. That we are all on this planet together, in this room, in this moment … together.”