Joan Shelley | Courtesy of Joan Shelley
Joan Shelley | Courtesy of Joan Shelley

Louisville artist Joan Shelley released her third full-length, Over and Even, in September to positive reviews and airplay locally as well as nationally. She’s received numerous accolades since (even nabbing a four-star review from Rolling Stone), and just last Friday, she landed on the L.A. Times’ 10 Best Pop Music Albums list by writer Randall Roberts.

"Over and Even"
“Over and Even”

Sharing company with names like Kendrick Lamar, Natalie Prass and Sufjan Stevens, Shelley is complimented on her “delicate voice” along with guitar accompaniment by Nathan Salsburg, also a Louisville native.

Roberts full review reads:

Joan Shelley, “Over and Even” (No Quarter): On the surface, “Over and Even” might seem like your standard singer-songwriter album. Songs are driven by folk guitar and Shelley’s delicate voice, and explore the kind of intimate emotions that make ripples, not waves. As accompanied by the Grammy-nominated guitarist Nathan Salsburg, Shelley’s language is poetic without being pretentious. The title track feels feather-light, opening as it does with morning coffee and a flowing river. But, like the music throughout the album, confusion and despair are seldom far from the surface: “I miss you some inside,” she sings to a distant lover. “Or I can ride this/ Over and over.” 

Next up for Shelley is preparing for the international leg of her world tour, which includes stops in London, Glasgow, Amsterdam, Berlin and Paris this spring.

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Sara Havens
Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville, known around town as the Bar Belle (barbelleblog.com). She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."