Photography by Sophie Spinelle - Shameless Photography


"With the whimsical chants, dreaming and shilling, and productive schedule, Starnes&Shah seem to be carving a path to some sort of dream-like otherworldly success."
Ryan Merkel, The Noise Beneath the Apple

"When listening to Starnes&Shah, the vocals stand out the most. With strong, dynamic voices the two are able to write their music in such a way that, while the vocals could take care of themselves, the instrumentation really compliments that and brings the band’s sound to full circle."
NY Social Status

"24 Million" from upcoming release Shilling For Dreamtown featured on 1/18/13.
Music Industry News Network

"Starnes&Shah is preparing to release its fourth album this summer, and has built a steady following on the regional music scene. The growing popularity hasn't changed the vision of the band; it's still about deep lyrics, a fun sound and meaningful music."
Zach Oliva, White Plains Patch and Rivertowns Patch

"Starnes&Shah are two ladies who hail from diverse backgrounds but come together to create dual harmonies and guitar and keyboard-driven alt-pop. Guitarist Dania Abu-Shaheen, originally from Lebanon and keyboardist Zilpha Starnes, who was born and raised in Dallas, Texas, settled in New York, releasing their third full-length record, Red Brick Tide since their formation in 2005. The duo - who can boast almost 10k Facebook likes - recently released a video for album half-way point, “Lucinda,” which serves as a soundtrack to a variety of individuals enduring suburban life."
Meijin Bruttomesso, The Deli NYC

"Drawing on influences like Fleetwood Mac and Indigo Girls, Starnes&Shah’s “introspective and influential” (The Noise: Rock Around Boston) blend of styles results in a “rare dynamic that intertwines their vocals into beautiful melodic threads” (Skope Magazine). Behind the melody and harmony, the lyrics are poems that tell the story of where the duo has been and what they’ve seen."
Skope Magazine

"Cardinal Marks" from Red Brick Tide, featured in Pick Your Poison's Friday 11/30/12 playlist.

"Cardinal Marks" from Red Brick Tide, featured as "Song of the Day" on 11/27/12.
Eat Sleep Breathe Music

"Cardinal Marks" from Red Brick Tide, featured as "Song of the Day" on 11/27/12.

"Cardinal Marks" from Red Brick Tide, featured as "Song of the Day" on 11/23/12.
Culture Brats

Music video for "Lucinda" from Red Brick Tide, featured in "Weekly Update" on 7/29/12.
My Life in Sketch

Red Brick Tide featured under "The Buzz" in the Entertainment section of the November 2011 edition.
Bazaar Magazine

S&S interview with Elizabeth Glines following release of Pink White Blue Green.

S&S record the #243 performance of The Flop House Sessions.
Band in Boston Podcast

Live Show Reviews

"...Starnes and Shah performed last Saturday night at Arlene’s Grocery. Starnes praised the soundman at Arlene’s Grocery, while fondly remembering a show there three years ago, during a snowstorm, when they played to only a handful of people. By comparison, three years later, Saturday’s show was so packed, it took on the typically crowded, rock venue smell of a sweaty gym locker room and Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. The girls are a welcomed favorite at Arlene’s.

Starnes’ Texan roots shone through with a lot of glitz. She sparkled in fairy dust – glittery silver eye shadow that matched her mod, silver mini-dress with scalloped edges, and sky-high platform stilettos. She showed off her shoes, and jokingly sang to the tune of 'Paradise City' by Guns & Roses, 'Take me down to Party City where the girls are clean and the shoes are pretty…'

Her partner Shah was clad in a grittier-by-comparison, all black ensemble of tank top, skinny jeans and skippy sneakers. While their clothing styles were clearly night and day, their vocal harmonies were totally in sync. By the end of the show, both of them were performing on stage barefoot, like good ol’ country girls..."
Brittany Somerset, The Lo-Down

Review for single, "24 Million," from Shilling for Dreamtown
(out summer 2013)

"The indie folk-rock duo recently released a new single from their upcoming album Shilling for Dreamtown. The new song, titled “24 Million” is a clear demonstration of the band’s ability to keep vocal harmony at the forefront of their sound as they continue to evolve from an acoustic duo to a full group rocking out with brightly layered guitars, quirky and infectious synths, and a groovy rhythm section."
Bazaar Magazine, Kuwait - March 2013 editiononline and print

"24 Million," the single from upcoming release Shilling for Dreamtown (out summer 2013), featured on 01/10/13.
Blog Baladi

"The dynamic duo Starnes & Shah are back at it again with their full length CD, Shilling for Dreamtown. It is scheduled for release in the summer of 2013. Celebrating the latest single from their new project, “24 Million”, they are harmonizing and mesmerizing us into the new year. Delivering their signature sound that we have grown to know and love, this song leaves the listener wanting more. The melody glides into the air as graceful as their angelic voices. If this single is any indication of the rest of the CD there is no question they will be tantalizing the airwaves yet again."
Rebecca Hosking, Skope Mag

Reviews for Red Brick Tide

"...Dania Abu-Shaheen and Zilpha Starnes, have spent time living in Boston and New York, toured the Northeastern United States, crossed various seas and land masses and done numerous other things that only “tragically uncool travelers” can do. Through all this, they’ve remained focused on what brought them together in the first place…a love of music. It is that love of music that has driven the duo, who perform under the moniker Starnes & Shah, to put out three full length albums (the most recent, last year’s Red Brick Tide). The albums are loaded with stories of their travels, where they’ve been and what they’ve seen. These stories play out over a bed of music that range from acoustic balladry to chorally arranged rock anthems to everything in between."
Tender Branson, Write Cook Click Listen

"The duo Starnes & Shah consists of two of SLC’s very own alums, Dania Abu-Shaheen and Zilpha Starnes. They serve up catchy, energized pop-rock with edgy guitar lines, silvery synths, and eccentric, folky harmonies. Their musical chemistry is further perfected on this most recent release, Red Brick Tide, which is actually their third full-length album."
Aaron Lindenberg, WSLC Radio

"Poet, rock ’n’ roller, and storyteller Dania Abu Shaheen and songstress Zilpha Starnes are at it again, once more putting forth an effort that is both introspective and influential. It is through a seemingly effortless manner that the girls’ vocals come together beautifully, each bringing her own life experiences and strengths to the table. The interplay of exquisite, often choral harmonies results in a magical listening experience. Musical fusion is the most fitting way to describe it. Through such songs as the opener “Cardinal Marks,” “Estimate and Then,” and “All That Love,” the girls have never been more reminiscent of Ryan Adams and the Cardinals and Hazeldine. Long-term fans will be delighted in the re-working of Pink White Blue Green’s “Saturn Starter Home.” As before, the girls’ lyrics are brilliantly witty, dripping with sensuality: “I know fire and I know hell and yeah, I’ve been there before… I’ll let you fix my flat tire. I’ll let you stoke my little fire. I got a box of matches, and I don’t care what catches.” The arrangement, complete with powerful riffs and strategically placed electronic elements is, when compared with the original, indicative of Starnes and Shah’s evolvement. Even “Half Hitch,” another track from their earlier record, is given a complete facelift with much added emphasis on Starnes’ vocal, “Oooh baby,” which just makes the song. Red Brick Tide is an exceptional effort, a fitting example of something unpredictable yet with the cohesion, driving melodies, and thoughtful lyrics that serve to hook listeners. Starnes and Shah have, indeed, “been livin’ right.”
Julia R. DeStefano, The Noise Boston

"Dania Abu Shaheen (Shah) & Zilpha Starnes (Starnes) are two folk musicians from the opposite ends of the Earth. We don’t know how a girl from Texas and a girl from Lebanon started a group, but lets be glad they did because their interesting spin on the folk genre is bliss. Normally, the keyboard has to sit on the sidelines during many of history’s folk songs, but it’s a refreshing twist to hear it to be front and center in many of their newer tracks thanks to Starnes. Then we have Shah’s guitar work. Their early material is much more on the acoustic side while their later material needs an outlet or two. Unplugged material is the most vulnerable while the electric guitar gets your blood pumping. Shah does a great job playing in both instances. Their poetic lyrics spill out onto the mike quite nicely as they sing most of their songs together in harmony. All of this together, you have yourself two ladies that are sensational singer/songwriters.
The Music Junkies Blog

"When you hear a band like these two young ladies you can not help but think both were put on this earth solely to find each other and create musical fusion. They have a rare dynamic that intertwines their vocals into beautiful melodic threads."
Rebecca Hosking, The Skope Mag

Reviews for Pink White Blue Green

"Though in some ways the duo recall other closely harmonising pairings like the Indigo Girls, their unique and powerful voices curiously don’t quite blend as one would expect. Their intelligent yet awkward harmonies and predominantly vocal slant on a folk-rock sound is original and enchanting. Highlights include ‘Rocket Science’ for its beautiful, melodic a cappella breakdowns, ‘Fit Fit Fit’ for its purity of purpose, and the stunningly raw and powerful ‘Leave Sonny’. In keeping with the colour wheel hopping of the title, there are times when Pink White Blue Green can leave one feeling a little lost and dizzy, but there’s always something just earthy enough around the corner to steer us back to an expedition of appreciation.
Claire Robinson, Wears the Trousers

"Pink White Blue Green, featuring intelligent and melodic folk tunes with tight harmonies, is bound to gain Starnes & Shah critical attention. If you can imagine Neil Young crossed with the Indigo Girls you have a vague idea of what Starnes&Shah are about musically.

Starnes&Shah have a very unique sound in their harmonies. They don't blend exactly; it's more like their voices co-exist in harmonious fashion, yet both remain materially distinct. The result is harmony with just a hint of tension that's always beneath the surface. ...The sound is edgy and raw and full of the bare character of both performers. 'Leave Sonny' is the absolute highlight of the disc; an archetype of that raw and unrepentant sound that makes Starnes&Shah who they are. The songwriting here is exceptional; it's one of those songs you can imagine other artists finding and wanting to record for themselves. The second half of the CD is much tamer, and consequently lost me a bit. Other highlights include 'Half Hitch,' 'Rocket Science' and 'Precious Face And Familiar Bride.'

Pink White Blue Green is uneven and gets a little lost for much of its second half, but the first five tracks here are as interesting and enjoyable as anything you're likely to find in folk/pop music. Starnes*Shah have an amazing vocal harmony sound that sounds nearly as competitive as it is complementary. The tension they create in coming together adds an extra spice to the songs on Pink White Blue Green and causes intrigue in listeners. Starnes&Shah are definitely worth spending a little time getting to know."
Wildy's World

"Starnes&Shah, a female duo who just moved to Boston from New York at the start of the year, are a unique mix: Zilpha Starnes is a self-proclaimed Texas Choir Girl with a Christian rock background, while Dania Abu-Shaheen is a rocker chick hailing from northern Lebanon. Upon meeting at Sarah Lawrence in 2005, they joined singer/songwriter forces to create something unique. They’ve recently release Pink White Blue Green and have some local dates coming up in support of it..."
Ashley Willard, Boston Band Crush

"Starnes&Shah are a welcome arrival on the music scene; when a really good band moves between Boston and New York, they're usually heading south. In this case, we have two new voices that sound so good together. Starnes&Shah dance splendidly on the fence between folky-rock and rockish-folk, but it doesn't matter with great lyrics and melodies."
Robert V., Cheap Thrills

"'Magical' is perhaps the best term to describe the folk-rock duo of Dania Abu-Shaheen and Zilpha Starnes. As women from completely different backgrounds, the two effortlessly meet in the middle to craft instantly likeable songs, each bringing their own experiences to the table in the process. With an acoustic EP and a previously released full-length album under their belt, Pink White Blue Green is a symbol of growth, reminiscent of artists such as Hazeldine, Ryan Adams and the Cardinals and even Boston’s own Avi & Celia. Tracks such as the melodic opener, 'Romance the Throne,' as well as the sexualized undertones of 'Saturn Starter Home' and the ever-changing world as seen through 'Rocket Science,' could easily be heard on the radio any given day of the week. 'Teeth,' 'Fit, Fit, Fit' and 'Confetti' are especially effective and 'ear-catching' through means of repetition. In terms of originality, each song soars with harmonies, intricacies unlike anything this reviewer has heard before. Only time will tell, but the talented ladies of Starnes&Shah could very well be the next big thing to hit the music community."
Julia R. DeStefano, The Noise Boston

Reviews for Summer in the Woodshed

"Starnes&Shah seem like an unlikely folk band. One member is an Arabic, rock and roll hopeful from Lebanon, another a former choir singer from Texas, and one member is a heavy metal drummer from New Mexico. But the trio, now based in New York, finds common ground in heartfelt acoustic songs.

Calling themselves an "Arab expat, a dixie deportee, and a desert drifter," Starnes and Shah features singer and guitarist Dania Abu-Shaheen, vocalist and keyboardist Zilpha Starnes and drummer Eric O'Connell."