Shelley Short – “Water For The Day”

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For her third album Shelley Short has assembled a collection of intimate songs, referring to them as ‘a diary of a barmy time that was 2006 and 2007”. Leaving Chicago in the wake of her widely praised Captain Wildhorse (Rides The Heart Of Tomorrow), Shelley jettisoned her band and took up residence in Los Angeles with her new love and sometime collaborator Alexis Gideon. There she picked up the pieces of a half-recorded (with Jamie Carter in Chicago) album and molded the collection into a coherent whole with recording engineer Raymond Richards. “Most of the songs were influenced by strings or webs that seems to tie everything together, and every so often you can get a glimpse of them and try to see how they work, where they go, and why they cling to the things they do.” While mixing at their home in LA Short and Gideon wisely made Shelley’s voice the centerpiece throughout, lending a campfire glow to the album. Notwithstanding, Short is accompanied by veterans Rachel Blumberg (M Ward, Bright Eyes, Decemberists) on drums, Tiffany Kowalski (Bright Eyes) on violin, Gary James on bass, and Alexis Gideon offering some clever guitar work. The instrumentation—particularly on the ballads—is inventive and surprising, taking more risks than prior albums: The subtle percolating guitar notes in “Swimming” evoke water, while the polarized frequencies of bells and kick drum in “How Grand” pique the ear. The songs are personal and dreamlike; the lyrics following a stream of consciousness more than a storyline. Fittingly, the title for the record comes from a dream Shelley had before moving to LA. “I was told I was saying in my sleep, ‘Water for the day! Water for the day!”


“The fit between her lullabye vocals and rustic folk/pop songs is what makes her acid-flashback titled album work.” – Magnet


“Short is a storyteller of nonchalant musings on the everyday, a nice break from the usual downer fare we are accustomed to. Overall, “Captain Wild Horses” is a fantastic album, and suggests that axing those art school plans was a smart move indeed.” — Billboard



Silver & Gold
How Grand
Godamn Thing
Further & Farther
The Getalong
Single Minded Hero
Sting Along
4 Legs & Light
May Song