Brooklyn songwriter Shilpa Ray released her latest record, Last Year’s Savage yesterday, her most recent in her decade long career.  Ray gained recognition for her powerful voice and unique, thought provoking lyrics as the leader of her band, Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers.  Ray’s music draws from the raw grit of punk rock, as well as being soulful and bluesy.  Perhaps it’s no surprise then, that Shilpa Ray had caught the attention of Nick Cave, who released her 2013 EP, It’s All Self Fellatio.

From the first track on Last Year’s Savage, you’ll hear why Shilpa Ray is one of the best at building a song. Her voice, and unique choice of instruments on “Burning Bride”, featuring a build with some harmonium and stunning harmonies.  Ray rocks hard on “Pop Song For Euthanasia”, with some really great guitar work and a really huge sound.  “Shilpa Ray on Broadway” is an awesome track that’s almost poppy, with a driving drum beat.

Shilpa Ray’s wit can be heard throughout Last Year’s Savage, but mostly on tracks like “Johnny Thunder’s Fantasy Space Camp”, “Sanitary iPad” and “Pipe Dreams Ponzi Schemes”“Colonel Mustard in the Billiards Room with Sheets of Acid” starts out as a really hard rocking track, and actually features some of the most shredding harmonium playing you’ll ever hear, that is before it takes off about 2 minutes in and becomes a totally different sound.  The record comes to a close with the ethereal, yet still gritty “Hymn”, which comes to close with Ray singing a wordless refrain over harmonium, omnichord, and a simple drum beat.

Last Year’s Savage is a truly interesting album to dive into. At time, Shilpa Ray’s voice is stunning, other times it’s gritty, but it’s always captivating.  Shilpa Ray rocks, soothes, and creates some truly thought provoking moments on Last Year’s Savage. Shilpa Ray uses a lot of harmonium, an instrument that I usually very hypnotic, but Ray’s usage is unique, it adds some fire to its otherwise tame sound.  Check out some tracks from Last Year’s Savage below, and be sure to connect with Shilpa Ray on her website, Facebook, and Twitter.

Shilpa Ray - Last Year's Savage

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