Selebrities, “Temporary Touch (Keep Shelly in Athens remix)”

Sjimon Gompers

Brooklyn's Selebrities celebrated by Greece's Keep Shelly in Athens. (Selebrities photographed by Brayden Olson, Keep Shelly in Athens photos courtesy of KSiA)

With their first West Coast tour beginning August 15, Selebrities' “Temporary Touch” gets remixed by fellow Cascine labelmates, Keep Shelly in Athens. Found originally off the Brooklyn romantics' album Lovely Things, the Grecian purveyors of new pop textural expressions, Sarah P. and RPR reread the palms and stars of “Temporary” through the foggy diamond mood ring lens in today's premiere.

As the duo of KSiA approaches the anticipatory release of their forthcoming At Home album, they have been wearing their growth and progressions of recent years stitched to their hearts and worn with pride on their sleeves. Taking cues from the abundant release of unbridled feelings from Selebrities frontwoman Maria Usbeck's now iconic, “you made me feel adored again” line, a new world opens up like the discovery of a hidden, and formerly lost private beach.

Maria's repeated chorus hooks you in while the synths gradually rush forth like digitized sea tides. The returning memories of feeling adoration continues ad infinitum as the keyboards are layered like coastal offerings brought from the corners of the globe's sands, seas and scattered shells. In the span of almost 5 minutes, the remixed synthesis of “Temporary Touch” turns into multiple forms that toward the end resemble the clockwise spin of plane engine turbines set to travel wherever those touched traces of implied and shared meanings choose to go. KSiA takes Selebrities song that began our Summer with a remix to close the photo album of seasonal love memories kept to be adored and treasured for an epoch greater than that initial moment and touch.

Selebrities' Maria Usbeck talked with us about the band's first upcoming West Coast tour, the pre-remixed details on the original “Temporary Touch”, those emotional expressions, and the impacts of things both brief versus the long term, and such.

En route to the West Coast, what are you excited about for your visit to the opposite coast?

In-N-Out Burger, the beach, Beverly Hills. Actually we are mostly really excited about being able to play on the West Coast for the very first time! Hope all our fans can make it out to the shows.

Tell us about recording “Temporary Touch” and applying a macro-romantic pop lens to intimate moments of the temporal.

The song started out with just the chorus guitar as an idea. One day I sat down and started building on top of this guitar part. Wanted to express the meaning and emotions of a love affair I recently had gone through. It's strange to be able to get caught in the moment of something that can't and won't be permanent; but then nothing really is.

Why do you all feel that those astounding and fleeting seconds can have such an impact, whereas longer ordeals go forgotten, even if it feels like the same amount of meaning and message is applied in moments both brief and expansive?

The meaning is different in the sense that something brief can be less or more passionate than something long term. It all depends on who it's with and what kind of connection you have with this person. The downside of the briefness is how quick it goes. Leaving you wanting for more.

Insights to releases in the works, and Brooklyn artists and happenings we may have missed?

At the moment no new releases planned. Recommend to check out Sateen, really into her music. Produced by Selebrities very own Max Peterson.

Once again, we had the pleasure to catch up with Keep Shelly in Athens' Sarah and RPR about the remix, reinventions, recreating someone's else's song from scratch into something new, the importance that hinges on the lyrical “again” in “Temporary Touch”, and the art of making music like beautiful laced knits.

What was it about that chorus line hook, “you made me feel adored again” that caught your fancy to loop through your bastion of the Balearic treatment?

It is a lovely chorus line, right? Everybody wants to feel that, and do you know what? Sometimes, when you hear and hear it, you accept it as a fact. So everybody shall feel adored again by now…!

It sounds like the vocal loops around a synthetic key sand storm, between you two (RPR and Sarah P.), how do you describe KSiA's curation of relations between the vocals, instruments and production in any of your songs, remixes, and such?

We always use vocals as another musical instrument that is why, in most of our songs, vocals are inside the mix and not trying to make the difference. Every synth, or guitar, or drums, and of course vocals, they all have their solo parts, from times to times. But we like to take it more like as if we have to deal with beautiful lace knitting.

The original feels like a cut out of time from the halcyon Hacienda-Madchester era and you all re-trick the track into what sounds like the unveiling of the new car of the future. What was the applied process in reinventing Selebrities' single?

Every time, I [RPR] treat the remixes like I have to write a totally new song, from the very beginning. That is when I search for something in the original song that will inspire me to start the songwriting. KSiA remixes have the signature of our style. Sometimes it is hard to do that, when you have to do with similar sounds, similar artists.

There is even a more serious sound, with the keys plunging into these moody places. Was that intentional?

Our music is moody. Our sound whenever it gets to shine, then it is more than sure that the storm is coming up. When you get that super positive line, “you make me feel adored again”, and it is just that, you build around it many shades. It is like human relationships, right? He/She can make you feel adored again. You might not be sure if all that is true, plus, and not least important, there is an “again”, too… and an “again” can include many things in it.

Thank you all for your music, heartfelt hypnagogia and ground breaking forays into underground pop culture's coarse earth and bringing out such beauty.

Thank you.

Selebrities West Coast dates with Rare Times & Skin Town:

August

15 Fullerton – The Slide Bar
16 Los Angeles – Los Globos
17 San Diego – Soda Bar
18 San Francisco – Neck of the Woods

Keep Shelly in Athens US tour dates with Chad Valley:

October

09 Washington, DC – DC9
10 New York, NY – Mercury Lounge
11 Philadelphia, PA – Boot & Saddle
12 Allston, MA – Great Scott
13 Montreal, CA – Il Motore
15 Toronto, ON – Wrongbar
16 Pontiac, MI – Pike Room
18 Chicago, IL – The Empty Bottle
19 Minneapolis, MN – 7th St. Entry
22 Vancouver, CA – Biltmore Cabaret
23 Seattle, WA – Barboza
25 San Francisco, CA – Rickshaw Stop
26 Los Angeles, CA – Bootleg Bar
27 San Diego, CA – The Casbah
29 Brooklyn, NY – Glasslands

The new Keep Shelly In Athens album At Home will be available September 17, while Selebrities' LP Lovely Things is available now from Cascine.

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