Shelley Short

Shelley Short, Paste’s Artist Of The Day


“We grew up in an old Victorian house with wood heat,” she recounts in her feather-light voice. “It got really cold in certain rooms. So I had a wood stove in my room, and there was a fireplace in the living room and another wood stove in the dining room.” Short’s family chopped their own wood and grew their own food, and the influence of these earthy, provincial early years is tangible in her music, songs that sound not unlike those a quiet, contemplative child might sing while splitting tender for the family.

Short revisited the bleak Portland winter to record her new album, A Cave, A Canoo.

Finish the article and stream the entire record at

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Then consider supporting Shelley with by purchasing the luminous A Cave, A Canoo from the HUSHshop.

Shelley Short Portland CD Release


Shelley will play from A Cave, A Canoo tonight at Holocene, celebrating the release of the lovely record.  Both Portland Weeklies gushed:

“Sonically, the album’s aesthetic matches its title; a familiar, functional craft (in this case, folk music as opposed to a canoe) is turned just slightly off-kilter to create something strange and enveloping. Short’s songs are models of restraint, sketched by plain acoustic guitar and sparingly colored, but something about her voice and delivery—not to mention her lyrics, which avoid easy sentiment—indicate infinite, potentially treacherous depths beneath the placid surface.

“It was just really nice not to have a time limit,” she says. “Recording at home, I didn’t have the feeling of having to worry about paying by the hour, or when to go in, so it could be in the middle of the night. It added a lot of freedom, which I think was really helpful. I had an end in sight but I wasn’t trying to push it, so when it felt right, then I knew the songs were all finished.”

The album’s songs’ simplicity—along with their rare, menacing beauty—thrusts Short into a naked spotlight, and her ability to transform languid folk music into stark reflection results in a challenging, seductive record that’s not easily forgotten.” – Ned Lannamann

Read more, including an interesting detail about the interlude found sound cardboard record at The Portland Mercury.

Meanwhile Micheal Mannheimer of The Willamette Week had this to say:

A Cave, A Canoo is a fragile and odd collection of experimental folk songs. Like the work of White Hinterland—another Portland folkie who tends to traffic in the esoteric—the record is flush with juxtapositions: Short’s girly, Joanna-Newsom-sings-Patsy-Cline voice is set against a warm bed of accordion, pianos, plucked guitars and, most interestingly, the languid guitar textures of collaborator Alexis Gideon. The record is intentionally sparse and withdrawn, but it’s the moments of color and beauty provided by Gideon’s guitar playing that initially sparkle.

Short writes like a poet, with tiny couplets that sound just as good on your stereo as they look on the page. That accounts for both the intentional misspelling of “canoe” in the album’s title and the way her songs are broad and infinite enough to encompass multiple interpretations. In the lilting “Racehorse,” Short says, “I am tipping forward, windstorm/ This place sounds like a trumpet, brass horn/ Future be what future want to.” If the future of folk music sounds anything like A Cave, A Canoo, then we have nothing to worry about.”

Shelley Short – “A Cave, A Canoo” Preorder

Shelley Short “A Cave A Canoo” Sampler Mix

All preorders will be signed by the artist and arrive at least a week in advance of release date (Oct 13)! ORDER NOW in the HUSHshop.

A Cave, A Canoo will mark Short’s third release on Hush Records. Captain Wild Horse (rides the heart of tomorrow) was released in Chicago in 2006, Water For The Day in 2008.

A Cave, A Canoo was produced by Short and Alexis Gideon and was recorded at Liophant Studios by Alexis Gideon, with some finishing touches done by Adam Selzer at Type Foundry Studios. The album was written and recorded over the period of a year, and its depth of sound reflects the wealth of time spent in its making. There was little to no pressure — be it financial or emotional — in its composition, allowing Short to focus her attention on the detail and nuance in each song. As a whole, the record is crafted with an interwoven, almost circular, approach, allowing the songs to slowly stretch out and find their home. Some songs took weeks to mull over and define while others represent first takes, captured at two in the morning.

“I was able to assemble and record the songs like writing a short story on a chalk board with a big eraser in hand, or like making a collage without using glue until the very end.”

While defined throughout by Short’s warmth and clarity, A Cave, a Canoo is a collaborative affair. The album’s diverse and imaginative musicians include longtime-friend Rachel Blumberg (The Decemberists, M. Ward, Norfolk and Western), legendary upright bass player Glen Moore (Oregon, Nancy King), and electric guitar virtuoso Alexis Gideon (Princess, White Hinterland).

In creating its so

Shelly Short On Deck To Tour, Live Video


Watch more songs from this set in a playlist at YouTube

Come out and see Shelley perform songs of her new album A Cave A Canoo (out Oct 13). All US Dates with Alexis Gideon.

Aug 28 2009 8:00P
Healthy Times Fun Club Seattle, Washington
Sep 1 2009 8:00P
Visual Arts Collective Boise, Idaho
Sep 3 2009 8:00P
Slow Train (in store) Salt Lake City, Utah
Sep 4 2009 8:00P
Urban Lounge salt Lake City, Utah
Sep 5 2009 8:00P
The Patio Torrey, Utah
Sep 7 2009 8:00P
Rhinoceropolis Denver, Colorado
Sep 8 2009 8:00P
Clawfoot House Lincoln, Nebraska
Sep 9 2009 8:00P
Slowdown Omaha, Nebraska
Sep 10 2009 8:00P
Ames Progressive Space Ames, Iowa
Sep 11 2009 8:00P
Sep 13 2009 8:00P
The Whistler Chicago, Illinois
Sep 15 2009 8:00P
Danger Danger Gallery PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania
Sep 19 2009 8:00P
Death By Audio Brooklyn, New York
Sep 20 2009 8:00P
Metro Gallery Baltimore, Maryland
Sep 21 2009 8:00P
Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar, CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia
Sep 23 2009 8:00P
Night Light CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina
Sep 24 2009 8:00P
Yauhaus CHARLOTTE, North Carolina
Sep 25 2009 8:00P
Flicker Athens, Georgia
Sep 26 2009 8:00P
CPR Presents LEXINGTON, Kentucky
Sep 27 2009 8:00P
Cranky Yellow ST LOUIS, Missouri
Sep 29 2009 8:00P
The 806 Amarillo, Texas
Sep 30 2009 8:00P
HIgh Mayhem Santa Fe, New Mexico
Oct 1 2009 8:00P
Trunk Space Pheonix, Arizona
Oct 2 2009 8:00P
Echo Curio Los Angeles, California
Oct 3 2009 8:00P
Deva Cafe Modesto, California
Nov 11 2009 8:00P
klappergasse 16 Frankfurt
Nov 12 2009 8:00P
Schokolden Berlin
Nov 13 2009 8:00P
Limes Club Cologne
Nov 14 2009 8:00P
La Passerelle St Brieuc
Nov 15 2009 8:00P
Cabaret Electric Le Havre
Nov 17 2009 8:00P
Nation Of Shopkeepers Leeds
Nov 19 2009 8:00P
Le Rigoletto Paris
Nov 20 2009 8:00P
L’émile Vache Metz
Nov 21 2009 8:00P
Deep Inside Dijon
Nov 24 2009 8:00P
St Ex Bordeaux

Shelley Short – “Time Machine Submarine” Video, Album out Oct 13

A stop motion video created by Shelley Short (probably with a little help from video whiz Alexis Gideon) for her song “Time Machine / Submarine” from A Cave, A Canoo out Oct 13 on HUSH. Trés mignon!


A Cave, A Canoe


Time Machine / Submarine
Hard To Tell
A Cave
Tap The Old Bell
How Was The Water?

Additionally, Shelley will be touring the west coast backing Tom Brosseau with electro-acoustic-ambient composerEthan Rose (who is incidentally releasing a gorgeous album with Laura Gibson, also this Fall.) One can only guess the mellifluous songs of Brosseau will be transported to an intriguing sonic place.

Wed June 17 Tucson AZ: Plush
Thur June 18 Phoenix AZ: Trunk Space
Fri June 19 Long Beach CA: Fingerprints instore (7:00pm)
Sat June 20 Santa Monica CA: McCabe’ w/Mike Stinson
Sun June 21 San Diego CA: North Park Vaudeville & Candy Shoppe
Tues June 23 Seattle WA: KEXP on air, 12 noon Pacific time
Wed June 24 Seattle WA: Tractor Tavern w/ Zera Marvel
Thur June 25 Portland OR: Mississippi Studios w/ Mbilly
Fri June 26 Redding CA: The Downtown Eatery
Sat June 27 Davis CA: Sophia’s Thai Lounge w/ Il Gato – presented by Cool As Folk
Sun June 28 San Francisco CA: Cafe du Nord
Mon June 29 Santa Cruz CA: The Crepe Place