Swellshark is a Chicago-based duo incorporating smart lyrics, textural drumming, electric ukulele, beatboxing, and the occasional mouth trumpet. At times big and intricate, and at others quiet and intimate, the resultant sound crackles with both joy and intensity.
Members Shélan O’Keefe and Henry Kellam met at a Lord of the Rings-themed potluck in 2012, immediately bonding over their shared love of records and pecan pie. A blossoming relationship developed into an unlikely musical partnership when Kellam began playing jazz and metal-inspired drums with O’Keefe’s confessional lyrics and ukulele riffs. With musical guides such as Neutral Milk Hotel, Death Cab for Cutie, and Kishi Bashi, the pair continues to search for unique auditory inspiration, most recently finding it on their adventures throughout Iceland. Since then, the duo have released two self-published EPs, played with local and international support, and recorded their first full-length album (independently released on May 12th, 2017.)
Currently, Swellshark travels the U.S. in the Swellmobile to promote their new record, In The Beginning. Having just completed their route through the South, the duo is gearing up for both a West and East Coast tour this summer.
Vocals, Electric Ukulele // Shélan O'Keefe
Drums, Bass, Harmonica // Henry Kellam