The Selkies are:
eric colville- guitars, vocals, mandolin, reverse polish notation, calculators, catboxes, & complaints
stella d'maris-guitars, vocals, big muff ukelele, keyboards, electric stove, pots & pans
Pete iannitto- electric and stand-up bass, sunshine, phone charging, smiles
geza carr- drums , percussion, vacuum cleaners & all fishing gear
Hometown: Ipswich Massachusetts
are those humans or seals
& combing their hair
rocks over there?
Award-winning songwriter Eric Colville and muse Stella D'Maris harmonize, tell jokes, and perform Colville's smartly-crafted songs along with a few well-chosen, tasty covers, traditional tunes, and songs from Ms D'maris. Along with top-notch drummer Geza Carr ( Anais Mitchell's Hadestown, etc ) the Selkies stir up a refreshing mix of folk and reggae, rock with old-timey twang, bossa-nova and country sounds that are sure to please.
Congratulations to Eric and his song "The Dash"
ERIC COLVILLE & ALEXANDRA STELLA D’MARIS
featuring Geza Carr of Anais Mitchell’s Hadestown on drums
by Doug Brendel
If you happen to be paddling around the marshes of Ipswich Bay and hear beautiful music drifting across the reeds ... you may be hearing the Selkies.
Selkies are the mysterious mythical beings who shift from seal to human, but it’s no mystery why this new duo — the union of award-winning singer-songwriter Eric Colville and muse Stella d’Maris and their guitars— harmonize so well together. Born 5.5 miles apart in the Philadelphia suburbs, both spent their early life in the same neighborhood and were transported to new locations in the same year. It was many miles and years later that they met, and the connection was instinctive.
Today, from the “Selkie Shack,” their home by Ipswich Bay, they are the Selkies, named after those skin-shedding creatures of legend. Audiences are delighted not only by their acoustic-Americana sound and outside-the-box lyrics, but also their easy rapport and humor. It’s the blend of these two very different characters — songwriter Eric is also trained as a structural engineer, D’Maris has traveled the world for standing stone circles and meditation — that keeps you guessing, and coming back for more.
Colville first seems like the serious practical member of the pair, while people are fooled by D’Maris’ laid-back exterior. Then she gets out the lists and the clipboard. After 5th grade, Eric left Philadelphia’s Main Line for an isolated peninsula in the Florida Keys; he grew up listening to Dylan, the Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, and Broadway musicals. He began his musical career as a background singer in a wedding band, later donning wingtip shoes and vintage thrift shop threads, playing guitar in blues bands around the South. Then his own songs began to come.
As a youth in the hallowed neighborhoods of Brookline, Massachusetts, D’Maris cut junior high classes to bike to Harvard Square, eating meat pies and yogurt at the Algiers, meeting old hippies, catching shows at Passim and becoming a devotée of legendary all-folk station WCAS. Later she pored over copies of Circus-Raves and Creem — but, frustrated with the inaccessibility of the glamorous rock scene, she turned to local punk and then to metal. Eventually, tired of lugging amps, she turned to acoustic sounds again. Then came motherhood, college, years of meditation, and home-buying.
“I hadn’t played much,” she says; “in fact, I was feeling I didn’t remember how. But Eric kept at me — like licking a wet kitten. He believed we had something, and he kept pestering me till I could play again.”
We’re glad he did.
“As an engineer, he can write these very structurally perfect songs,” d’Maris observes. “I like to think I encourage him to take some chances.”
Their overlapping influences make for fresh, original songs that go straight to the heart, but with fascinating twists. Fans find the Selkies perpetually shedding their skin — surprising them, even with songs they thought they knew.
“We’re always re-tooling stuff,” Colville says with a shrug. Their solidly crafted songs blend pop and rock, bossanova and country, folk and bluegrass with reggae.
Colville has been writing and re-writing for 20 years. Winner of more awards than he can count, in 2009 his song End of War took 2nd place overall in the 16th Annual USA Songwriting Competition — and 1st place for lyrics. He’s also written for films and television.
“He has very exact ideas about how things should sound,” d’Maris notes. She, on the other hand, messes with everything. “She provides color,” Colville grins.
How would they describe the resulting music?
Eric tries not to smile.
“It’s like the Rolling Stones made it with the Indigo Girls,” he says.
D’Maris can only roll her eyes.
all you need is love. or something like that.