Shelder The Electric Clamfish – Notes Of A Vagabond (2016)
E. Weever writes…
I am not merely guessing when I say that of all the musicians in the Canadian underground folk scene who are having a ridiculous amount of fun, Mayne Island native Shelder the Electric Clamfish is probably having the most.
The immaculately conceived love-child of Frank Zappa and Ellen McIlwaine, Shelder lets herself go wherever she wants. And she wants to go a lot of places. And the places are amazing. And, thanks to the miracle of recording technology, you can go too!
Formally trained on trumpet, Shelder quickly set fire to the West Coast music scene with her no-such-thing-as-too-outrageous stage antics as a member of raging carnival group Blackberry Wood. In fact, the last time I caught their act (here on the island – I don’t really get out much because I am a sheep), she didn’t seem to flinch as she leaned down from the pool table she was standing on to stretch her inflatable fun fur panties over the head of a more-than-willing audience member (or shall I call him a devotee?), all while dancing an impressive jig and maintaining a note perfect trumpet solo.
Since moving to Halifax and diving fearlessly into her solo project, Shelder has captured many audiences in her fish net stockings, wowing them with the full range of her creative expression and professional show-womanship. This includes vocal, songwriting and storytelling proficiency as well as accordion, glockenspiel and piano expertise (Shelder moonlights as a professional piano tuner, which may explain the close-up attention to detail on Notes of a Vagabond). Her live show places the audience at the centre of the action (rare these days) and is truly entertaining. In fact one never knows what to expect. Which is good because, as everybody is fully aware nowadays, expectations are the leading cause of poor digestion, spontaneous skin wandering, chronic disappointment, anal warts, mummification, pineal gland calcification and death. Check her out!
The latest offering by Shelder the Electric Clamfish – Notes of A Vagabond – is something I haven’t been able to say about an album in many many sheep years: it is an ADVENTURE. Not only are we treated to instantly classic and immediately recognizable melodies, an orchestra of deliciously off-kilter instrumentation and kegs of uplifting energy, the album also contains a treasure chest full of enjoyable and mythic travel tales, populated by pirates, sea-wenches, squirrel hunters, fisherman and other essential players in any life of movement, freedom and hard-earned survival. The album is truly a journey in a time when the word “journey” is overused and weakly defined. The listener is guided into a colorful wilderness where a life of discovery, while of course dangerous, is instantly recognized as the healing salve to the mundane, safe and predictable nooks and comfy crannies of the modern age.
Forget every folk cliche and overplayed chord progression you’ve ever been distracted by – Shelder the Electric Clamfish has just given the genre a thorough shake down and uplift (yet again) with her relentless imagination and untamed musical curiosity. Her unique brand of Deep Sea Punk Folk (Clam Punk?) is sure to crack open your mind and let in a whole lot of something this world desperately needs: unchartered FUN.
E. WEEVER CONCLUDES.
The Sheet Pope writes…
D udes and
I ncantation and
Mae Dew writes…
i herd wot it is dis wun. luck trick clamb fish coz she has magik an did yu see dat? i fot it wuz funny her said about dat canoo wich floo roun haha. imajun dat wun weeee! hor oar storee.
did yu rully wont a marri dat fishrman? he wood be a goood catch. huh uhu. his fingrs smelly fishee.
all ov us togever on dat cold darc road. aint no litin it. keep one luv kno who she is shelter clamfis – you ar rite war yu ar, keep eesy.
did wun hear somefing? dd you play a chord yawn on dere? i luv dat. a chord yon cuz da bell ohs opin like wun big yonn mouf. sleapy leapin frog.
my lammies lik dis wun lectrik lam fish .fish fish fin. means da end.