As I excitedly prompt Sarah P about working with RPR (RΠЯ), the other half of the Keep Shelly In Athens (KSiA) duo from Greece - the withering remnants of our former-faultless phone line, begins to crackle and dissipate into a static crunch. Suddenly, her giggle evaporates into a backdrop of airwaves riddled with robotic mumbles - and then the line drops. A jinx? Or a ghoul tampering with our interview? Any way you swing it, my attempts to burst beyond the blurry veil cloaked around RΠЯ's image, crosses the imaginary line of concealment that these two artists have drawn for themselves.

Despite the connectivity issues and an obvious language barrier, our chat about their latest album At Home allowed for the various petals of their identity to unfold. Known as the band birthed from the clutches of the blogosphere (who take residence in RSS feeds) I was naturally perplexed. Sarah P is a wonder, a delightful, accessible wonder. As we unpick further, her coo bounces contagiously - she conveys an ethereal innocence whilst describing her music.

However, KSiA's approach is persistently steadfast and mature, tackling whatever shortcomings a virtual band from Greece could run into. As I hurdle across the EP's threshold, it vines together what easily could have become a mismatched bouquet of balearic dream-pop indie-synths just watered down and vague. It is as dark as it is light. She affirms that "RΠЯ grew up in the 80s, I grew up in the 90s and we met in the 00s," which only further clarifies their blatant forage through musical era's and influences.

Admittedly, they are not masquerading without purpose. Dripping with seductive and punchy hooks sheathed with a particular sensory atmosphere, Sarah sweetens a layer laced with bites of harshness. "It's so hard to express in words and notes, your music and your feelings, but it has to be heartfelt and that is what is reflected on our music." She further reveals the anxiety of the recording process, what 'home' means to them and a secret she has never divulged before...

What is so interesting is that you started out as an actress?

Yeah! When we formed the Keep Shelly In Athens group I was still at drama school. It was kinda confusing and a really stressful era of my life, but I definitely enjoyed it.

Do you feel like that performance aspect is something you use for your live performances?

Well it is part of me, I won't hide behind being a singer at all, but I'm an actress first and foremost.

So it all kind of works together?

Definitely! Even the way I write my lyrics, there may be a more dramatic tone that I get from just imagining myself performing on stage.

What was your most favourite thing to perform at college?

We did James Joyce's Dubliners, and I was Evelyn. I loved that girl and 'we' spent so much time together - she's inside of me! Oh my gosh, if any one was listening now they would be weirded out.

If I had a penny for every time I've heard that, but the reason why I ask is, musically speaking - it all acts through one vessel, the acting and the performance. Do you think that it's something you would potentially pursue further in the future?

It's definitely something that I want to do. I did my first short film earlier this year, but KSiA is my world. I have actually really started missing acting...

The one always speaks louder than the other, but uncovering the music side a bit more, what were you listening to when you were growing up?

I was always open to new music. I used to listen to punk and post-punk and sing along to that a lot. I listened to dark-wave and it's definitely a big influence for me. 80s music in general really!

You can actually hear that clearly throughout your record

Well my band-mate, RΠЯ has got many influences from that time too, which is where we connected. He used to listen to metal too though which is something that I never tried to get into, to be honest - wasn't my thing.

There's a particular 80s pace in the song 'Kresnas Street'; what is that reference to?

(laughs) Well, firstly our name comes from a neighborhood in Athens called Kipseli. Kresnas street is a street there. Another street, Fokionos, was actually the first song we ever released! Everything for us is around there - we always need to get 'back' there if you know what I mean.

Did something specific happen on that street?

RΠЯ grew up there and the song is about a mother talking to her son. Our main inspiration actually came from touring around the world, realizing that every next stop could be our next temporary home. I can't really explain the experience of leaving and also having people kind enough to let us crash in their living rooms. You can call a place 'home' because of the people - people who may not be your family.

Your music is clearly an ongoing journey to find 'home'...

It's one part of the adventure. When you get to let people know about how you feel about things that you felt in your music and you're communicating that and letting people in, in your inner most thoughts - it's really special to share. I might be being really romantic about it all!

What are the different themes that you explore throughout the album? They're romantic aren't they?

It's not just the home thing, where you find shelter and build a calm and relaxed space to be in. It's the different homes that come and go. By homes, I mean people. Through our lives there are people who are coming in and going out, people with whom you're exchanging thoughts and ideas. It's again an emotion.

So which song lyrically best describes where you're at, at the moment?

To be honest, probably somewhere between 'Oostende' and 'Flyway', which happens to be my favourite on the album. It's about being in the middle of everything, in a rush and in a hurry. Having feelings of withdrawal when you see everyone getting what they want, but you're a little bit behind. 'Oostende' is about two people who want to be together and when they are together everything is special. So, for me, this 'person' is the helping hand to save a person from loneliness.

What does Oostende actually mean?

That's a city in Belgium, which is in the middle of two people who are in a long distance relationship. It's their meeting place. Also the Greek in me loves the beautiful shores it has!

Was this a personal story that happened to one of you or was it something you dreamed of?

Something I wanted to happen, definitely a combination of a personal experience and a dream.

When people comment on your overall sound, they speak about falling into somewhat of a dreamscape. Do you explore and connect to things like lucid dreaming and mysticism?

I'm a really lucky person in that I remember my dreams and use them as my main influence for writing. I have wonderful dreams and I love my nightmares - I found a way to not wake up from my nightmares and experience them to the end.

So you're the lyricist and vocalist, but what is RΠЯ's side of the music?

He writes and produces all the music too.

This is the point at which the phone line suddenly crumbles...

So! Where were we? Do you have some sort of ritual that you do before you record or before you go live? How do you connect with one another?

Well as for the recording, which is funny in that I have never told anyone this before, but he is always next to me when I sing the songs. He wants to be right there by my side in the recording room. At first it was really stressful because we are both two really anxious people but I learnt to cope with him standing there. Now, it's the only way and I need him by my side.

What were the other challenges for you, being dubbed as a band whose home is on the Internet?

The biggest challenge is definitely to get better and better, which might sound like a cliché but it's true. We are an Internet band, a band from the blogosphere. It's a great conversation to deal with that. We want to always make music that we love, listen to and want to perform live. In order to keep doing what we wanted to do we had to evolve our sound for this album.

So in order to get better and better, do you find you want to do more collaborations?

Our crazy dream is for Cocteau Twins to get back together, so we can get to work with them. I really love the latest remix that Selebrities did for the Recollection track.

Well when two dreamy acts come together, it's bound to be otherworldly! It must sometimes be difficult though to translate that 'dreamy' sound, electronically and vocally into an acoustic live performance?

It is actually hard and it would definitely be easier for us to just shuffle around. We wanted a full live experience for our gigs, so we've spent many hours in our rehearsal studio. We've changed things, like the guitarist we're using, so we are really willing to see how people react to the new sounds of KSiA. I'm reluctant to talk about shows until we've done them. It's kinda awkward, we're far away in Greece so you never really know until you get on tour and feel the reaction from the people who come to enjoy your music.

Speaking of enjoying music, when you were growing up, what was your first vinyl?

When we were all living together with my mother and father, he had a lot of records and on Saturdays we would always do our chores. We would sit in the living room and listen to kind of alternative children songs (laughs). It was called "lilipoopooli" Greek for 'little tiny town' - so many songs about colours, really strange ones - I could send you a youtube link even!

Ha! Yes of course. By being this new-age blog-band, how do you want people to listen to your music?

Well, we do love vinyl because it's more personal. Music is music anyway and it will get through no matter how, so however people want to listen to our music is fine by me. I'm just feeling really grateful and super happy about people listening at all.

So, trying my luck - what is RΠЯ's real name?

Well that has to be off the record! I'm not allowed to say. It just started out like that. But it's actually been really hard to keep that up after 3 years.


A well thought out plan evocative of musicians who react from reactions and make moves as per reviews, or just two people wanting to collect new experiences, go back home, and write new music? Perhaps KSiA isn't so timid and reclusive after all. They have gentrified and found the ability to adapt and connect to an online audience with boundless sets of opinions that neither harbor credibility nor a tangible face. What with so many similar bands nudging their way toward us and KSiA era-hopping to find their sound, there's one thing that appears clear - being an Internet band in this particular era, remains a worthy catalyst for a humble, secure and welcoming home for them to live in, for now.

At Home by Keep Shelly In Athens is out now. Head here to visit the band.