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Alternative & Indie - Released May 9, 2000 | Quarterstick Records

Shannon Wright's debut album, Flightsafety, positioned her as a sensitive, talented purveyor of melancholy, Elliott Smith-styled indie folk. The quiet intensity underpinning Flightsafety bubbles to the surface on its follow-up, Maps of Tacit, a bold and startling leap into uncharted territory. Although the album begins in a relatively similar style, by the halfway point it's apparent that Wright is drawing just as much on the dissonant art-song of theatrical composer Kurt Weill and the minimalist instrumentation of latter-day Tom Waits (sans junkyard percussion); the more carnival-esque work of Lisa Germano is perhaps the best comparison, and the wilder moments might even recall German art rock chanteuse Dagmar Krause for some. The differences are apparent on the re-recording of Flightsafety's "Heavy Crown," now overtly rather than vaguely unsettling; where the original relied on its creeping chordal lines for impact, here Wright wails the chorus with a newfound power, climaxing in an apocalyptic scream that provides one of the record's most intense moments. Yet that shouldn't be taken to mean that Wright has thrown off all restraint or nuance; quite the contrary, she simply sounds more confident, her live performances having informed the sharper emotional contrasts in her music. The intensity of Maps of Tacit feels cathartic rather than tortured, and it makes Wright's experiments with sonic texture all the more exciting and fresh. That's especially true of the pieces utilizing harmonium or Wurlitzer organ; their frequently aggressive dissonance hangs in the air behind Wright with an eerie, almost spectral quality. If the album has a flaw, it's that the second half's shorter, sometimes instrumental pieces could perhaps have been fleshed out into something more complete-sounding; still, they at least fit the atmosphere well. Overall, Maps of Tacit finds Wright growing more adventurous both as a composer and performer; it's a dark and challenging work, yet it isn't off-putting or overly harrowing, and its bracing experimentalism and originality suggest even greater things to come. © Steve Huey /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released September 20, 2019 | Vicious Circle

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Shannon Wright subtly crept onto the scene with her beautiful artisanal indie-folk-rock and established a fan base who know that she is so much more than just the 15,478th clone of Cat Power… Since the end of the 90s, she has crossed paths with the likes of Steve Albini (who produced Maps of Tacit in 2000), Dyed in the Wool in 2001) and Over The Sun in 2004) , Yann Tiersen (signing a beautiful duo with him in 2004), pianist Katia Labèque (who created Division in 2017) and the French director Guillaume Nicloux (for whom she composed the soundtrack of the film To the Ends of the World in 2018). With Providence, Wright has released her very first album that is made up exclusively of her piano and voice. Recorded and mixed in Studio LFO by David Chalmin (the producer behind The National, Gaspar Claus, Thom Yorke and Katia and Marielle Labèque), the work tugs at your heart strings. There’s a destitute atmosphere - which is not down to a lack of ideas - that acts as the ideal backdrop for her heartfelt poetry. Just sit back and let yourself be carried away by her lyrical, minimalist piano, the perfect instrument to accompany her light and intimate singing. Superb. © Clotilde Maréchal/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released April 6, 2004 | Quarterstick Records

With her days in Crowsdell far behind her, singer/songwriter Shannon Wright has established herself as a true solo artist. She's never been concerned with writing for the masses, for arriving at a sound that's both inventive and emotional is what's important to her. Looking at past albums such as her 1999 debut, Flightsafety, and 2002's gem Dyed in the Wool, Wright has emerged confident and convincing on her fourth release, Over the Sun. For what could possibly be the finest moment of her solo career, Wright tames herself, vocally and musically, for a warm storm of emotional richness. Producer Steve Albini joins her for a second time and assists Wright in focusing on the abrasiveness of her lyrics while lifting the strength of her guitar playing. That's not to say Wright is less expressive on Over the Sun. It's just that the straining theatrics of Maps of Tacit and Dyed in the Wool aren't nearly as distracting. Instead, Wright introduces Victory at Sea drummer Christina Files (the Swirlies, Mary Timony) for an added backdrop, and composes an autumnal atmosphere soaked in pianos, crisp guitars, and Wright's classic self-deprecating lyrics. From the bellowing chill of "With Closed Eyes" to the tumbling churns of "Black Little Stray," Wright doesn't let the songs get away from her. Over the Sun is so close and loaded in feeling, it's almost as if the instances are inside your head. If not, the hushing tweaking of "Plea" and the cracked stillness of "Throw a Blanket Over the Sun" will startle you. © MacKenzie Wilson /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released February 3, 2017 | Vicious Circle

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 8, 2007 | Quarterstick Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 21, 2009 | Vicious Circle

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Alternative & Indie - Released August 21, 2001 | Quarterstick Records

As indie rockers go, Shannon Wright is something special. After disbanding Crowsdell and embarking on a solo career, she released two wildly different but extremely high-quality solo recordings, the stark, acoustically haunted Flight Safety and the set of rage-rock excess that was Maps of Tacit. On Dyed in the Wool, Wright changes her direction by freeing herself of the constraints of having to play everything on her own records. She enlists help from mates in bands like Rachel's, the Boxhead Ensemble, the Lofty Pillars, Edith Frost, and the Rock*A*Teens, and the engineering help of Steve Albini and Andy Baker. The tracks range from the haunted chamber pop of "Vessel for a Minor Malady," with its sweeping string and piano choruses and broken lyric, to the screaming rawness of "Less Than a Moment," with its angular melody line and deconstructed rock chorus, to the gothically shambolic title track done in waltz time, which has the protagonists singing with a loss so total it upsets the balance of the world: "There goes your body in a box/But it's all I have left/Now this odor lines my shaking bed/There's no order to you/Come with me you dirty wretch/How does this duty send me relief/When I've been cheated of you." The seam of the track splits, allowing for the singer's contradictions to meet with the downpour of emotion and musical fragmentation like a surprise rainstorm in a desert. The lyrics here reflect Wright's precise yet poetic way of mapping the emotional landscape as it careens from pain and loss to hope and then rage. With a band of musical collaborators to free up her musical vision, Wright has given listeners her finest outing so far -- and that's saying plenty. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released November 8, 2010 | Vicious Circle

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 20, 1999 | Quarterstick Records

Sequestering herself in North Carolina after the dissolution of her previous band Crowsdell, Shannon Wright emerged with several single releases and finally the impressive full-length solo debut Flightsafety. It's a gentle, melancholy affair on which Wright plays nearly all of the instruments (including drums), augmenting the songs' piano and guitar bases with cello, harmonium, and organ. Wright's musical milieu is haunting indie folk-rock, of the type that's been tagged "sadcore" due to its intense, despondent introspection. In that vein, Flightsafety often resembles a mildly dissonant version of early Elliott Smith; Wright has fully mastered the contrast inherent in the gentle sense of swing that propels some of Smith's saddest tunes (see "All These Things"). However, Wright has her own tactics, creating tension through dissonant harmonies and angular chord changes (as on "Rich Hum of Air") rather than projecting outright bitterness. She can also be lilting and catchy, as on the indie single "Captain of Quarantine," which fortunately made the cut here. The elliptical, imagistic poetry of her lyrics is richly personal, conveying its meanings more through impression and feel than literal interpretation; Wright's restrained yet impassioned performances and tight melodicism supply all the subtext that's needed. Overall, Flightsafety is an extremely promising debut from a bright, accomplished songwriter. © Steve Huey /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released April 15, 2001 | Quarterstick Records

Shannon Wright shifts the emphasis of her material again on this stellar mini-LP, opting for a short set of spare songs that, even in doing away with the wailing dissonance that made Maps of Tacit so cathartic, are just as effective in their contemplative beauty. The majority of the songs feature Wright cooing -- in her vaguely unsettling alto -- some of the most seductively pretty melodies she's penned (especially the heartbreaking "Azalea") over the accompaniment of acoustic guitar or piano. Even the full-band psychedelia of "Foul" is pacifying, to say nothing of her inspired take on the Bee Gees' hit "I Started a Joke," which itself seems to have been inspired by Low's cover of the same song a few years earlier. (Alan Sparhawk even offers backing vocals and additional guitar to the track.) However, what's truly remarkable about Wright's ability to make an impact across the dynamic range is exemplified in Perishable Goods' bookends. Two tracks that would later appear, in much more cacophonous incarnations, on her Dyed in the Wool LP, "Hinterland" and "The Path of Least Persistence," operate here as gentle reminders rather than scathing admonishments -- and lose nothing in the translation. © Bryan Carroll /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released May 7, 2013 | Ernest Jenning Record Co.

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Alternative & Indie - Released August 8, 2012 | Ernest Jenning Record Co.

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Comedy/Other - Released May 10, 2019 | Shannon Wright

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Comedy/Other - Released June 1, 2018 | Shannon Wright

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Comedy/Other - Released December 17, 2013 | Motion Music

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Comedy/Other - Released December 17, 2013 | Little Kid Records

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Comedy/Other - Released April 30, 2019 | Shannon Wright