Joan Shelley :: The Spur

At this point in her career, we would probably settle for a “pretty good” album from Joan Shelley. But no, The Spur continues an unbroken streak of masterpieces for the Louisville-based artist. It’s a record that features some of Shelley’s very best songwriting, bolstered by sensitive and occasionally surprising arrangements, ravishingly lush at some points, spare and spectral at others. The Spur is a wonder, from start to finish.

Joan Shelley :: The Aquarium Drunkard Interview

We caught up with Joan Shelley on a summer Friday shortly after the Supreme Court upended Roe Vs. Wade, a weird and unsettled time for everyone, but perhaps particularly for a female artist in Kentucky with a new daughter. We talked about making art in a pandemic, the importance of collaboration and the difficulties of doing anything else when you have a young child, as well as the pleasures of listening to music all the way through, the way it was intended.

Transmissions :: Joan Shelley

On Joan Shelley’s fantastic new album The Spur, the singer/songwriter reaches out from a place of solitude, seeking connection. Rooted in Britfolk aesthetics, it’s an album that feels intimate but spacious too, all finger picked acoustic guitars, Richard Thompson inspired electrics, and sparse percussion.

Joan Shelley :: Cycle

The second song released from her upcoming lp Like the River Loves the Sea, Joan Shelley’s “Cycle,” feels suspended in mid-air, a tale of a romance that keeps finding back itself where it started. “The best music would be a conversation with the divine…” says Shelley. “These songs are partly that conversation, at times through the lens of lovers.”