The Shacks – Haze

A few weeks ago I signed up for another vinyl subscription service, you may recall the others:

That Special Record: Really liked it but they stopped
The Retro Store: Crap
Vinyl Moon: Good but too expensive for a non US customer.

This time I’ve gone with Rough Trade, a brand I know. The first record arrived from them on Friday and they sent me Haze by The Shacks, a Rough Trade Exclusive of 1000 Copies only on Coke Clear Vinyl with Download (featuring just the main album) and Rough Trade Bonus CD. I haven’t listened to the bonus CD yet, which is instrumentals, but I’ve played the record a dozen times and really like it.

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The Shacks are fronted by 19-year-old singer & bassist Shannon Wise and 21-year-old guitarist & producer Max Shrager, and you may have already heard them without realising it (or not, let’s find out):

So that is the Apple Iphone 8 advert featuring the The Shacks cover of This Strange Effect by The Kinks, but also featuring Shannon Wise. Seems a pretty good start for any band.

I think the number of plays I’ve given the album since receiving it is indicative of how much I like it, and this made me appear much more knowledgeable than I really am on Saturday when I was in  record shop and a tune came on, I was able to say, ‘Is this The Shacks?’ after just a few notes and a conversation ensued.

I happen to be rather pre-disposed to a whispered female vocal so that was a plus from the start, think Stina Nordenstam if she was shouting, so very whisperery is she, and that is close to Wise’s vocal throughout the album. To make comparisons, or perhaps more bits that made me think of other bands, I felt bits of The Sundays, The Cranes and the aforementioned Stina Nordenstam. I’m also reminded of Death & Vanilla at times, and I love Death & Vanilla so there are elements of several bands/artists that I really like popping up throughout the tracks on this album.

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That there above is the Coke bottle green mentioned above, it’s a nice colour, in fact I think I have another by somebody else in this colour but I can’t remember who it is right now. Here are some snippets of what other people are saying about this album:

“music that envisions comforting, classic sensations like cascading spirals of woodsy incense…sun-drenched and intoxicating”

— PITCHFORK

“dreamy…music tinged with 60’s pop and pyschedelia, as well as Charles Bradley-esque 70’s soul”

— WNYC SOUNDCHECK

“feels like floating in a delicious dream…a testament to the band’s timeless, multi-generational warmth.”

— NPR MUSIC

“a sweet singalong that simultaneously recalls Sesame Street and David Lynch’s nocturnal crooners”

— VICE I-D

“Psychedelic soul with a little Mazzy Star thrown in for good measure.”

— PASTE

 

This video is from BRIC TV— the first 24/7 television channel created by, for, and about Brooklyn. It is the borough’s source for local news, Brooklyn culture, civic affairs, music, arts, sports, and technology. BRIC TV features programming produced and curated by BRIC, an arts and media nonprofit located in Downtown Brooklyn, NYC.

Tracklist

Haze
A1 Haze
A2 Follow Me
A3 Birds
A4 Sand Song
A5 Texas
A6 Cryin’
B1 All Day Long
B2 My Name Is
B3 Blue & Grey
B4 Sleeping
B5 So Good
B6 Nobody, Nobody
B7 Let Your Love
Instrumentals
1 This Strange Effect (Instrumental)
2 Orchids (Instrumental)
3 Audrey Hepburn (Instrumental)
4 Tidal Waves (Instrumental)
5 Rain (Instrumental)
6 Hands In Your Pockets (Instrumental)
7 Strange Boy (Instrumental)
8 Audrey (Spending All My Time With You) (Instrumental)
9 No Surprise (Instrumental)

I like them and will be interested to see how they develop and what they do next.

Rating: 8.5

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