The Shants – Russian River Songs EP
[tags: alt. country, folk, ep]
Listen while reading:
So Strange, These Days (from Russian River Songs EP)
It’s only two days before 2010 and I’m very happy that I found yet found another great band in the outgoing year. Ok, I did not really find them, because the good guys over at Hyperbolium posted about The Shants just recently. But you may forgive me if I repost on them for they clearly deserve some more blog love. They hail from Oakland/California and finished their first EP, called Russian River Songs, short time ago.
The title is explained by the fact that they recorded their demo near the Russian River “holed up in a cabin in the redwoods” as they say. The complete EP was mainly recorded live and in only two sessions what adds a nice campfire atmosphere to the tracks. And saying campfire atmosphere, it is just the right word to express all the other aspects of Russian River Songs. That is: the overall dark character of the music with the haunting but very mellow lap steel melodies, the cozy acoustic guitar play accompanied with chilled e-guitar vibes and cradling bass lines together with decent sounds from the rhythm section on drums – I don’t need to say that this is pushed to the limit every time the harmonica kicks in. The lyrics are perfect to forget about your surroundings and to hum or sing along with them with closed eyes thinking of a nice night with your friends hanging out around some crackling campfire with some tasty beers or beverages of your choise.
The voice of Skip Allums is flying through the tracks mostly with great calmness and always with a sad side note that really fits the whole release very well. Although I wouldn’t say that it sounds much like an americana voice it surely is a great alt. country voice with lots of character and range.
The best thing about the EP is, that it combines alt country and folk in a very ingenious manner with the always present acoustic guitars, the country driven lap steel and harmonica and Skip’s voice, which also subjoins a little bit of indie character (like in Lift Up Your Eyes). This combination works just fine for me and I’m glad as a lad (come on, it’s just one stupid rhyme…hehe) that I discovered this nice little 8-track EP which you can order directly via mail. To stream some more of The Shants’ music, don’t wait and visit their MySpace site or head over to their Tumblr page.
Additional note: Skip told me, that they will head to Sacramento this winter to record their debut full length in Tape Op’s The Hangar studio together with Bryce Gonzales (who engineered Davendra Banhards latest album What Will We Be). Those are great news and I’m really looking forward for this recording in 2010. You should too.