I’ve been considering ways to dole out an introduction to this wonderful Austin based musician for days, with each new attempt being more poorly executed than the former. The thing is, in a world where Americana and folk is getting increasingly washed out and dull, the few real gems that present themselves needs to be shrieked through the clutter. Abram Shook is definitely one of those.
I first listened to this track on a pair of laptop speakers, on where most of its vividness and clear cut production got lost. The intensity and beauty of “Coastal” rewards a proper sound system to fully come to live. The track is mixed by Danny Reisch (Midlake, White Denim) and Erik Wofford (Bill Callahan) whose high quality production takes “Coastal” as far from muddled lo-fi folk as possible. But “Coastal” speaks to all senses, not just the ears. It’s a magnified sensory overload of everything I love about lush indie folk. But one that owes equally much to the great Shuggie Otis as it does to west coast folk.
Like so many other folk musicians, Shook has had his share of spiritual odysseys – wondering the earth from South America to Indonesia – before settling in Austin where he has spent the last 8 years as vocalist/guitarist for The Great Nostalgic and as touring member of The Low Lows. Now that he’s getting ready to release his first record under his own name, he couldn’t have chosen a better way to introduce himself than “Coastal”. He’s voice is a stunner, while the track have the potential to attract fans of 70’s glam rock and Arcade Fire in equal amounts. And whatever you do, wait until the end, as the song transforms itself to an arena sized beast that more than justifies that Arcade Fire comparison.
“Coastal” is not necessarily about sounding unique or bringing something innovative to the table; it’s about the melody, the vocals and the production coming together in uniformed harmony. Sun Marquee, Abram Shooks solo debut will be released January 21 via Western Vinyl.
- Listen | Abram Shook: “Coastal” (iguessimfloating.net)