Shannon & the Clams – Onion (2018) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Shannon and the Clams – Onion (2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz  | Time – 41:15 minutes | 497 MB | Genre: Indie Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Booklet, Front Cover | © Easy Eye Sound

Shannon & the Clams, are known for a diverse sound that incorporates elements of: doo-wop, early rock & roll, classic R&B, garage psych, and surf rock as influences, now releasing their fifth album, Onion. The Oakland-based, indie garage punk quartet is working with producer Dan Auerbach and Easy Eye Sound on this project. Over the last decade, Shannon and her chief collaborator, guitarist Cody Blanchard, have released four albums of ’60s-inspired pop on indie labels, toured tirelessly and have gradually solidified a lineup of devoted Bay Area musicians, Nate Mahan on drums and Will Sprott on keyboards. Onion continues the bands strong points with thirteen catchy, well-written songs, full of beautiful harmonies and twangy, fuzzy, instruments, combined with wild, boisterous vocals.

Released in 2018, Onion finds Shannon & the Clams going through some changes. While the album is a long way from glossy, it’s their most polished effort to date; Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys produced the sessions, and though his presence isn’t intrusive, the production on this material is cleaner and more mannered than this group has seen in the past, and he’s added more layers of instrumentation than is their custom. And while Shannon & the Clams have usually been ready to get the party started, Onion finds them in a slightly more somber mood. Onion was primarily written in the wake of the tragic December 2016 fire at the Oakland, California D.I.Y. venue Ghost Ship; the band had played the space in the past, and had friends among the 36 people who lost their lives. As one would expect, there’s a bit more time spent contemplating life’s consequences on Onion, especially on tracks like the runaway’s tale of “Backstreets,” the moody contemplation of fate in “Strange Wind,” and the bittersweet memories of “Don’t Close Your Eyes.” But if Onion is a few shades darker than Shannon & the Clams have seemed in the past, musically it’s still full of the joy of life, built on the ’50s and ’60s pop frameworks that are their bread and butter, and Shannon Shaw’s strong, soulful lead vocals can communicate both passion and blues with equal skill. (And Will Sprott’s keyboards still evoke the low-tech brilliance of Joe Meek as well as anyone in the 21st century.) Onion is mature and contemplative compared to Shannon & the Clams’ earlier efforts, but it’s music that comes from a place of celebration and love, and these songs will make you dance and sing along — and that’s what this band has always done best.

01. The Boy
02. It’s Gonna Go Away
03. Backstreets
04. If You Could Know
05. I Never Wanted Love
06. Onion
07. Did You Love Me
08. Love Strike
09. I Leave Again
10. Tryin’
11. Tell Me When You Leave
12. Strange Wind
13. Don’t Close Your Eyes