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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Shampoo gets misty eyed with three-song demo

From his first forays into writing songs with No Face and Goldilocks to playing the punk-pop summer laments of the Hotels, Shampoo's bass player and principle songwriter Chandler Kelly hasn't quite filled the shoes of a savvy craftsman of blue-eyed soul, pop, and indie rock, but he's on the right path. This week, Shampoo unveiled its first three-song demo. With songs bearing the titles "High School," "Boys" and "Katie," Kelly, along with bandmates Catherine Quesenberry (synth) and singer/guitarist Rush Myers, is quickly mastering the aesthetics of misty-eyed ennui. But that's just par for the course for a band that's been around for about six months, crafting a sound that's steeped in an '80s pop school of "Say It Isn't So" lush and mid-tempo pop reminiscence.

"High School" takes lead as a primitive, soft-focus bit of reflection that balances lo-fi pop (Rush's iPod plays the drums) and a template for the dynamics that connect Myer's falsetto and Kelly's melancholy songwriting.

Taken on its own, no single part is a particularly impressive element of the production, although it's worth noting what an about-face this is for Quesenberry's synth sounds, which she also creates for the band Qurious (i.e., there's not much reverb to speak of on her Shampoo synth parts). The production here is rudimentary, but then again, it's a demo. Each song transcends mere classification as an indie rock or dance-pop number. Rather, they settle in together somewhere outside the limitations of both. "Boys" and "Katie" perfectly match the sound and tone set forth with "High School" and vacillate mildly in their variations on Shampoo's unifying theme of nostalgia.

Shampoo plays the Earl with Semicircle, and Dot.s on Wed., July 16. $5. 8:30 p.m. (doors). 488 Flat Shoals Ave. 404-522-3950.

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