Las Kellies formed in Buenos Aires in 2005, patterning their sound after the raw post-punk of ’70s all-female groups like The Slits and The Raincoats. Comprised of guitarist Ceci Kelly, bassist Betty Kelly, and drummer Sil Kelly (all of whom sing lead and despite their names, are not related), the three women cut their teeth on the Argentinian music scene, starting with 2007’s ‘Shaking Dog!’ and following it up with a more dancey, new wave-inspired album titled ‘Kalimera’ in 2009. Both were released independently.
After touring internationally, Las Kellies signed to Fire Records for their third outing, 2011’s Kellies, which was mixed by dub legend Dennis Bovell. Going in even deeper on the reggae influence, 2013’s ‘Total Exposure’ was produced by Ivi Lee of South American reggae group Nairobi Dub. On board to lend a hand on vocals were Bovell and Chain & the Gang’s Ian Svenonius.
Before recording their next album, 2016’s ‘Friends & Lovers’, bassist Betty Kelly left the band. The remaining duo called in Iván Diaz Mathé, whom they’d worked with before, to oversee the sessions. They dialed back the dub and reggae influences in favor of a stripped-down punky sound. The trio added bassist Manuela Ducatenzeiler to help out with post-release touring.
“They boast what is clearly an encyclopaedic understanding of all the best bits of new wave both sides of the atlantic, plus the fortitude to throw the rulebook clean out the window and sometimes sound just like themselves.”NME