Often, the most original and inventive sounds come from mashing up styles and genres. Brooklyn-based musician Conchita Campos prides herself on her artistic fluidity, moving with ease between jazz, bossa nova, soul, and more. Her latest project under the name Little Shells (the literal translation of her name) finds her collaborating with other open-minded artists in NYC to create something that is truly unique and wholly modern.
On 5 Deep Under, the eight-track LP, Campos teams up with a dozen musicians including a horn section, along with her musical pals. Album opener “Another Night” sets the tone of the collection with its biting, vindictive lyrics and sudden burst of cacophonic energy, surprising the listener and letting him or her know that it’s not wise to get too comfortable with the melody. In fact, each track contains some unexpected element, making it impossible to turn off the album. Take its title track for example. With its trance-like ambiance and production courtesy of electronic due Live Footage, it becomes something of a hypnotic lullaby, wooing the listener and ushers in the second half of the album, which is largely filled with easygoing jazz; the most amped up Campos gets is on the slightly showboat-y “When They’re Gone.”
Though the talent of Campos and her colleagues is indisputable, the real star of 5 Deep Under is its depth and layers of instrumentation and unique flavoring. It takes a true visionary to pull off something this different — and do it with grace and aplomb. It’s clear that Campos is marching to the beat of her own drummer (musical pun intended), but, in her case, with great risk and great diversity in collaborators comes an even better reward. Well done, Little Shells.[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/196314874″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]