Bulldog duo, Keep Shelly in Athens, only have a smattering of releases proper, but next to Copenhagen’s Reptile Youth, their catalog would play exhaustive. In fact, Mads Damsgaard Kristiansen and Esben Valløe have somehow managed to tour the Western world (plus Shanghai) all without a real album. Of course, it’s not that these Danes are rotten on wax. On the contrary, a Reptile Youth show is such an awesome display of energy and might that no grammed groove could possibly contain it.
Case in point: David Richardson’s video for “Black Swan,” premiered just last week over at Dazed Digital. Pay no attention to the faux 16-mm scratches or the Nashville ‘77 sepia. Listen, instead, to the spunky, almost too forward flirtation with disco. Even better, hear how they shut her down in the chorus with those few, perfectly-voiced minor chords. Once its feathers settle, “Black Swan” will prove to be one of 2012’s most creepily danceable numbers on this side of the first side of Hot Chip’s new record.
Fresh off a Daytrotter session themselves, RΠЯ and Sarah P. of Keep Shelly in Athens have clearly internalized the spectre here. And yet their hazy, hauntological rendition is able to turn this track further on its head. Realized for Forest Family Records, the vinyl imprint of .mp3 lifers Gorilla vs. Bear, this remix isn't exactly made for the same type of dancing. But that’s hardly a bad thing. “I’m a black swan, born white,” or so goes the original lyric. Keep Shelly in Athens’ take, then, is just a negative image-- the complete inversion of what Reptile Youth first expressed.
While the band is working on new material, you can still pick up Keep Shelly in Athens' recent double EP, In Love With Dusk / Out Own Dream, which is out now on Forest Family.