The English psychedelic rock band The Angel Makers would not be as identifiable as they are without their frontwoman Shauna Kelly, AKA Shoshy. Using that moniker, she released a solo record produced by Rob Davey of the Angel Makers called Darenimo on February 19, 2021.
The album is carried by that distinct shoegazy Angel Makers vibe, but with an even greater production value than their previous works. Shoshy’s experimentation shines further than ever before, with spacey electronics sprinkled throughout. After speaking to Kelly, she feels this is her best work yet, and it shows. It’s easy to notice a maturity in songwriting that has developed since her Angel Maker days, with themes that cover personal growth (“New Leaf”), questioning relationships (“2Sucky”) and even science fiction (“Plants”). “It’s Okay,” which is entirely sung in Japanese and has a Japanese sound, is a great touch too.
With past Angel Makers songs often being known for ending with long droning jams, the songs on Darenimo are devoid of that. That’s a good thing, as it allows Shoshy to have her own musical identity apart from the band she’s so known for. The standout track is “The Truth,” which is guided by the beautiful strums of an acoustic guitar and Kelly’s angelic reverberated voice. It is an intimate song that can pull the listener into a trance. Her use of complex chords and arpeggios show off her impressive musicianship, but never takes away from the lyrics, capturing the doubtfulness that all too often accompanies relationships.
While the past work with her band is unforgettable, Shoshy is a competent solo artist that could benefit from making more LPs in the future. One can’t forget the inventive cover art of Kelly inside an ice cube surrounded by ghosts either. With the pandemic allowing great works like Darenimo to be produced and released, it’ll be intriguing to see what Shoshy comes out with next.