2018 commenced with the joyous release of a number of highly anticipated albums for me, perhaps chief of which was Shakey Graves’ Can’t Wake Up.
On February 9th, annual ‘Shakey Graves Day’, Alejandro Rose-Garcia (the OZ behind the fabled curtain) positively tormented fans by releasing an EP, The Sleep, comprising of the two opening tracks from his forthcoming album, & then left us all on tenterhooks until April when the record finally dropped.
Until then his fanbase had almost exclusively known Shakey Graves as either a one man band or a two piece in which he played with drummer Chris Boosahda & guests. And had grown accustomed to his repertoire of jaunty folk anthems both accomplished and eccentric, detailing rich fantasies from death-by-electric-chair, to Farm boy left for an Astronaut, to remeeting ex lovers as ghosts.
But this enigma’s singular sound has finally crowned and been birthed; now, as a full touring band, Shakey Graves’ soundscape has matured into a veritable fantasia! Not only incorporating his usual ingredients, we are now also treated to brave social comment, intelligent bridges between tracks and a fascinating disregard for ‘the conventional’.
My favorite track by far is the one you are about to listen to, Big Bad Wolf. Whilst touching on particularly serious topics surrounding the lives of young people in America today, the song grumbles with something like resistance and everything like the sound of your cool older brother’s band practicing in the garage with a big ‘No Entry’ sign scrawled on the door.
(Song recommendation by Oak Ayling)