Shilpa Ray

Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Shilpa Ray made waves in the mid-2000s leading the unusual indie rock outfit Beat the Devil, who fused bluesy indie rock with harmonium and Indian time signatures. Growing up in an Indian-American family in New Jersey, Ray's teenage rebellion soon drew her to punk music and guitar, though her cultural heritage remained a strong thread in her story. Following Beat the Devil's lone 2006 album, the powerfully voiced singer fronted her own similarly minded endeavor, Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers, and released A Fish Hook an Open Eye in 2009. Over the next several years Ray became ingrained in New York's musical culture, signing with Knitting Factory Records and releasing her follow-up, 2011's Teenage and Torture. Her exposure from that album led to a stint opening European and North American tour dates for Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds as well as singing backup with the band. Around this same time, she disbanded Her Happy Hookers and made her solo debut on Cave's Bad Seeds Ltd. label with the 2013 EP It's All Self Fellatio. Striking a deal with Northern Spy Records, Ray recorded her first solo full-length, Last Year's Savage, in 2015. Two years later she returned with Door Girl, a loose concept album of sorts documenting New York's seedy underbelly taken from her real-life experiences working the door at the Manhattan rock club Pianos. ~ Timothy Monger

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