New Audio: Introducing the Atmospheric Soul of The Sha La Das

The Staten Island, NY-based Schalda Brothers, Will (a.k.a. Swivs), who played keys for Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires; Paul, the creative mastermind and guitarist with his Paul and The Tall Trees, as well as a member of Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaries; and Carmine grew up in a rather musical home — their father, while as a teenager was a member of the Brooklyn-based doo wop act The Montereys in the early 60s, an act that played neighborhood clubs and bars, before eventually playing at the 1964 World’s Fair before putting his musical career on hold to raise his family; however, Bill made sure that he taught his sons what he knew. As the eldest son Will recalls in press notes, “He would bring us out on the stoop on Staten Island, and we would teach us parts of say, the Sesame Street theme song. We were his backing group early on and that was a lot of fun for us growing up.”

Interestingly though, the newest band in the Daptone Records Universe, The Sha La Das, which features the the aforementioned Schalda Brothers and their father Bill can trace the impetus of the group when The Schalda Brothers had come into the studio to record background vocals on Charles Bradley’s sophomore album Victim of Love. And as the story goes, as soon as Daptone Records/Dunham Records producer and guitarist Thomas Brenneck first heard The Schalda Brothers’ close harmonizing, The Everly Brothers and The Beach Boys immediately came to his mind — and from that point, Brenneck knew that he had to work with them as a separate project.

Slated for a September 21, 2018 release through Dunham Records, an imprint of Daptone Records, The Sha La Das’ Thomas Brenneck-produced full-length debut Love In The Wind was co-written by Brenneck and Bill Schalda, and as Brenneck explains, he wanted to take the group outside of doo wop . . . and “to take the whole vocabulary of doo wop harmony and reapply it to soul, so you get super soulful harmonies along the lines of The Manhattans and The Moments.” Unsurprisingly, the album was a family affair — both biological and within the Daptone Records Universe, as the Schaldas are backed by a modern soul All-Star backing band featuring Brenneck, Homer Steinweiss, Dave Guy, Leon Michels, Nick Movshon and Victor Axelrod.

Love In The Wind‘s first single is the achingly tender and yearning ballad “Open My Eyes” a song centered around an atmospheric and unhurried arrangement consisting of a bluesy guitar line, plinking keys, dramatic and gently padded drums, soaring strings and the Schaldas’ soulful harmonizing. And in the Dunham/Daptone tradition, the track sounds as though it were some long lost release from 1964 that was found by some intrepid and adventurous record collector.