Shell Of A Shell (Pile, Gnarwhal) Share “Away Team” Title Track + Announce Tour Dates

February 3, 2020
photo credit Mabel Suen




Have you ever stopped to think about what being part of Heaven’s Gate cult was like? Well, Shell Of A Shell’s Chappy Hull (Pile, Gnarwhal) has. “Away Team,” the title track from the band’s full length debut, explores these ideas and beyond. Slowly expanding on a dissonant melody that unravels into the musical dexterity they are quickly becoming known for. With the record due out via Exploding In Sound Records (Water From Your Eyes, Bethlehem Steel, Ovlov) on February 28th, Nashville’s Shell Of A Shell are creating introspective rock music with complex structures and jaw-dropping progressions.

Paste premiered the single, calling it, “a devastating gleam of pre-apocalyptic anxieties that are definitely not exclusive to cult members at this juncture in time.” Speaking about the song, Hull shared:
This one is about a fictional woman in Heaven’s Gate having second thoughts before the day they were supposed to go on the comet. The Away Team was what they called the group in the cult who were supposed to be reborn on Hale-Bopp while others stayed and were going to have another chance later in life. When I learned about Heaven’s Gate it was hard not to try to imagine myself in that tragic scenario and what would be going through my head, brain-washed or not.”

Following their well received Already There EP (which kept the Spotify playlists buzzing well past the release), the band – Hull, Dylan LivermanNoel RichardsIan Sundstom – crafted a record full of personal songwriting and vivid imagination. Recorded once again with Seth Engel (Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, Ratboys, C.H.E.W.), Shell of a Shell’s sound careens between pop-filtered experimental punk and corrosive post-hardcore to create something that feels scrappy and vital.


2/28 – Nashville, TN @ Drkmttr w/ Glued and Stuck
2/29 – St. Louis, MO @ Nü Craig w/ Stuck
3/01 – Chicago, IL @ Flood House
3/12 – Atlanta, GA @ The Bakery
3/13 – Athens, GA @ Caledonia Lounge
3/14 – Birmingham, AL @ The Firehouse
3/16 – New Orleans, LA @ Banks St Bar
3/17 – Houston, TX @ Satellite
3/18 – Austin, TX (SXSW) 
3/19 – Austin, TX (SXSW)
3/20 – Austin, TX (SXSW)
3/21 – Austin, TX (SXSW)
3/22 – Austin, TX (SXSW)
3/23 – Denton, TX @ J&J’s Pizza
3/24 – Amarillo, TX @ The 806
3/25 – Santa Fe, NM @ Ghost
3/26 – Phoenix, AZ @ Lunchbox
3/27 – Chula Vista, CA @ Bow Wow Haus
3/28 – Santa Barbara, CA @ The Auditorium
3/29 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Smell
3/30 – San Francisco, CA @ Oakland Secret
3/31 – Reno, NV @ Holland Project
4/02 – Eugene, OR @ Old Nick’s Bar
4/03 – Vancouver, BC @ Astoria Hotel
4/04 – Seattle, WA @ Black Lodge
4/05 – Portland, OR @ Turn Turn Turn
4/07 – Boise, ID @ High Note Cafe
4/09 – Salt Lake City, UT
4/10 – Denver, CO @ Glitter City Nights
4/11 – Omaha, NE @ O’Leavers
4/12 – Des Moines, IA @ Vaudeville Mews


1. Funny
2. My WIldfire
3. Knock
4. Fill In The Blank
5. Find Me A Field
6. -2
7. Forgetting Symptom
8. Away Team
9. Don’t Expect
10. Seems Like


Nashville quartet Shell of a Shell may have been conceptualized as a solo project in its infancy but on their upcoming full length debut, Away Team, it is very much the work of each member, a cohesive unit working together to let their songs sprawl. After the release of Already There, the band started to congeal, with each member working out their own path for the project and coming together with a collective vision, one that has expanded on Chappy Hull’s (Pile, Gnarwhal) songwriting without upsetting the dynamic balance. For all the collaborative effort though, Away Team is a very personal record, built on internal feelings of doubt, guilt, reflection, and unshakeable depression. It’s about the moments between the extremely busy times, those seconds where your thoughts catch up with you, and the mind wanders between inescapable emotional grief and mental anguish. 

Dissonant and complex, Shell of a Shell – Hull (guitar, vocals), Dylan Liverman (guitar), Noel Richards (bass), and Ian Sundstrom (drums) – use their music to pivot between overwrought feelings and the kick in the teeth needed to get up and keep going. They rip through swirling and jittery sonic bliss (“Knock”) and crushing celestial dirges (“Don’t Expect”), flexing their capabilities through polyrhythmic nuance and tangled melodic introspection. It’s not all bummed out though, Shell of a Shell work a muscular fury in to their songs, pummeling their way through shifting moods and a glimmering hope for humanity. They explore the philanthropy of Dolly Parton in the wake of a fire that ravaged Pigeon Forge, Tennessee (and the general indifference among those around them) on “My Wildfire.” They dream about the Heaven’s Gate voyage to the Hale-Bopp Comet on title track “Away Team.” As thoughts swirl around, the mix of light and dark is what saves us all from sinking too deep.

Recorded with Seth Engel (Options, Coaster, Shady Bug) at his Pallet Sound studio in Chicago, the band spent a week to create an album that is blistering with post-hardcore energy. Built on elements of noise rock and old-school emo, the band juxtapose a sensitive touch with their propulsive depths and immersive structures. There’s a duality to the album in both the songwriting itself and the ability to just let go and let things wander, as the first half of the record is short and concise, the second half is expansive but tight and focused, exploring extended timeframes to build nuance and set tone. Take the album closer “Seems Like,” an exploration of depression and sleep deprivation at its worst, when all feels wrong yet inescapable. Shell of a Shell mount tension and a general anxiousness that comes when your mind won’t shut off in the earliest of hours, the guitars and sludgy rhythm building a sinewy rush of dampened adrenaline. 

Due out February 28th via Exploding In Sound Records, the band are set to tour this Spring. With their incredible full length debut, Shell of a Shell are letting us view behind the curtains; highs and lows explored with a musical dexterity that goes far beyond their years.

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