“Every time I’ve seen The Shondes, a hurricane has touched down. Violinist Elijah Oberman rocks his instrument like the world is ending. Louisa Solomon sings like her soul is leaping out of her mouth. Every time, I wondered when the band would break big.” –Shauna Miller, Washington Post
The Shondes (rhymes with “Hondas” and Yiddish for “shames” or “disgraces”) are a rock band from Brooklyn, NY, who play Bikini Kill-meets-Bruce Springsteen-style sing-along anthems for you.
Formed by best friends Louisa Rachel Solomon and Elijah Oberman back in 2006, the band has included a handful of amazing guitarists and drummers the pair affectionately refer to as “The Greater Shondes Mishpocha” (see below for the list!) They have released four albums, including 2013’s critically-acclaimed THE GARDEN (praised by Rolling Stone, Billboard, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, etc.), produced by TONY MAIMONE (Pere Ubu, They Might Be Giants) at Studio G Brooklyn, with photography by the legendary FRANK STEFANKO.
The band has toured the U.S. with Against Me! and headlined U.S. and European tours, including shows with Uh Huh Her, Electrelane, Rasputina, MEN, Caithlin De Marrais (Rainer Maria), Franz Nicolay (The Hold Steady), Mary Timony (Helium, Wild Flag), Erase Errata, Amy Ray (The Indigo Girls), Joe Lally (Fugazi), Mecca Normal, Bonfire Madigan, Party Line (Bratmobile), Lesbians on Ecstasy, Kaia Wilson (Team Dresch) and many more; and performed at festivals including CMJ Music Festival in New York, South By Southwest in Austin, and North By Northeast in Toronto.
Louisa Rachel Solomon – Vocals & Bass
• Peter Ames Carlin says The Garden features “better-stand-back vocals from Louisa Solomon, who has one of the biggest voices in pop music.”
• Tablet Magazine: “Lead singer Louisa Rachel Solomon is accusatory, but not judgmental. She’s got an acrobatic voice, which she mainly uses as part of a rising tide to lift all boats.”
• WELD Birmingham: “When [Louisa] takes the stage, wielding her bass like a scythe and using her powerful voice to take dead aim on the hearts of an audience, she affirms not only the aspirations of her band’s many constituencies, but the transformative power of rock itself.”
• Depth of Field Magazine: “…Solomon’s voice is nothing short of breathtaking, caressing the notes while sending them forth with a power and force that forms immediate bonds with an audience; her tone giving the impression that she’s speaking directly to each and every individual listener.”
• MTV Iggy called her “Incandescent” and “…a punk rock femme fatale. Not the ersatz Suicide Girls kind of femme fatale either, she’s the real kind that most people couldn’t possibly hope to handle. She creates the feeling that the stage is the safest place for her — and for all concerned. At any given moment she might be giving off a little Dolly Parton or Joan Jett vibe, but underneath it, and at all times, her own voice and personality are both growing so dominant and distinct that they seem to have their own gravitational pull.”
• Seattle’s Three Imaginary Girls:” Louisa Solomon anchors and drives the band with a fury and finesse few frontwomen have these days.”
• Venus Zine reviewed a Shondes show in Atlanta, saying “Louisa Rachel Solomon charged at the mic as if to push the song forward with her body.”
• CMJ: “Louisa Rachel Solomon’s vocals are strong, nimble and graceful.”
• Performer Magazine called her “a front-woman to fear and fall in love with.”
Elijah Oberman – Violin
• Rolling Stone said Elijah “scrapes hornets and angels from his fiddle.”
• The Washington Post:”Violinist Elijah Oberman rocks his instrument like the world is ending.”
• Hebrew School said “Elijah Oberman has that rare mastery of post-punk violin playing that only seems to come along once in a generation, reminiscent of early Raincoats.”
• Venus Zine said he plays violin “with such physicality that he sometimes crumpled almost to the ground around his instrument.”
• MTV Iggy says the violin adds “ravishing turns of melody and extra pangs of romance and melancholy” and calls it “graceful, persistent.”
• Bitch Magazine: “The violin drops in at the perfect point—and, the moment it appears, casts a simple magic…”
• JEWCYcalled Elijah “one of the foremost violinists in the punk scene today.”
The Shondes Mishpocha includes the talented Allison Miller, Fureigh, Temim Fruchter, Fen Ikner, Zachary Toporek, and Jim Heffernan. They’re all doing amazing things, so keep your eyes out. Not to mention our other amazing regular collaborators: Tony Maimone at Studio G and Emily Millay Haddad at Circles of Fire Productions.