After buccaneering around the West Coast with the Clams, Shannon Shaw has headed to Nashville, as Dusty Springfield did in 1968. With a clear nod to Dusty in Memphis, this first solo effort marks the beginnings of an emancipated life. Shannon & The Clams is a group from Oakland, California, which owes as much to Primus as it does to Devo, Missing Person or Roy Orbison. They have mastered the art of disguise, putting out absurd shorts, and invite journalists into their tiny rooms. They're signed on Burger Records. Their poetry is written in punk, rockabilly, doo-wop and garage. Even punkier, and rawer, were Hunx and His Punx, which Shannon joined at Seth Bogart's invitation. Now flying solo, Shannon is showing us a different face.
Her husky voice has the doo-wop soul of the great girl groups, the Ronettes, Shirelles and the Shangri-Las: you could already hear it on the Clams' Onion, produced by Dan Auerbach. And though Shannon's still on bass, now she has centre stage. A fan of the Clams, the Black Keys singer invited Shannon to do a turn in his Easy Eye Sound studio. With six songs in her pocket, our glamorous blonde leapt at the chance to join a clique off over-qualified musicians, and to fulfil her destiny. These old-timers recorded with Aretha, Elvis and Dusty... Which must have raised the pulse. And here they raise the ghosts of her broken, sorry loves, and push the great singer's feline, charming voice to its limit. Scintillating sixties melodies, cinematic arrangements straight out of James Bond: Auerbach has crafted this album painstakingly. It's classy, and classic, with a little touch of glockenspiel, vibraphone and some chimes, and a faintly musty retro whiff. Dan has played Phil Spector, and brought out Shaw's genius, and revealed the diva. © Charlotte Saintoin/Qobuz