On Friday, the folk-pop band SHEL released their newest single, an uplifting anthem called “Rainbow.” The release is the first from SHEL’s upcoming EP, Wild Child, which was produced with Joey Verskotzi and Tim Myers (previously of OneRepublic) and will be released on March 6.
SHEL consists of four sisters — Sarah, Hannah, Eva and Liza Holbrook — and initially formed to be the backup band for the sisters’ father, Andrew Holbrook. Releasing a debut self-titled record in 2012, the band has spent their career searching for honest expression.
“Accepting and trying to understand the emotions and beliefs that shape each heart can help you understand yourself,” says Liza, the youngest sister and drummer. “We look out for each other, we love each other and we will always want the best for one another. Loyalty and passion keep this sisterhood together.”
Musically, “Rainbow” is infectiously catchy and bright, featuring glistening mandolins, Lumineers-esque drums and a chorus hook that will no doubt get stuck in your head. Eva (the group’s lead singer) delivers an impressive vocal performance, pulling off riffs that are pure pop-goodness.
In releasing “Rainbow,” the band also aims to raise awareness about the treatment of widows in India.
“In many rural societies in India, people believe that the loss of a woman’s husband is a result of her bad karma,” says Eva. “There’s a ceremony after his death that involves dressing her in white (the color of death), smashing the bangles around her wrist, and turning her out of society to beg on the streets. Often her own children abandon her.”
SHEL is tackling this issue by partnering with a craft center in Vrindavan, India known as Hope Springz. By commissioning the effort, the band is also making sure that the proceeds will be donated and given back to the organization. It is an effort that empowers the women who take shelter there.
The music video for “Rainbow” is visually mesmerizing, albeit sometimes uncomfortably white savior-y. Partially filmed in India, the video features Eva interacting with the widows from Hope Springz as well as the sisters playing their instruments in a beautiful open-water shot.
Watch the music video for SHEL’s new song “Rainbow” below: