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Alternative 13/05/2021

Shannon & The Clams Confirm Release Of 6th Studio Album "Year Of The Spider"

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New York, NY (Top40 Charts) Today, Shannon & The Clams announce the release of their widely anticipated sixth studio album, Year Of The Spider, on August 20th via Easy Eye Sound. For the album, the band, fronted by bass player Shannon Shaw and guitarist Cody Blanchard on lead vocals with Will Sprott on keyboards and Nate Mahan on drums, returned to Dan Auerbach's Nashville Easy Eye Sound Studio to craft a mature, reflective, and ebullient album built for the current times, on which they have perfected their signature blend of garage-psych, doo-wop, classic R&B, and surf rock. Year Of The Spider is available to pre-order on all formats.

Shannon & The Clams today share the first song from Year Of The Spider, "Midnight Wine," along with a video directed and hand-animated by the band's own Cody Blanchard. Blanchard shares in today's interview with Rolling Stone: "When I wrote this song, I was thinking of friends I've had that have died from drug addiction and that feeling of desperation that drives you to seek shelter from reality in drugs. I've watched so many artists and outsiders around me struggle and flounder in this way. They die when they can't find community or peace. It's heartbreaking." Watch the animated video for "Midnight Wine" here and read Shannon & The Clams' full interview with Rolling Stone.

Year Of The Spider rages against death, darkness, and disease with the power of a thousand angry Ronettes. "It felt like the end of an era," Shaw said about a writing period that began with the tragic death of the Clams' former drummer Mick. In 2016, the Clams' DIY community suffered the devastating Ghost Ship warehouse fire. In 2018, the California wildfires came unnervingly close to her parents' homes. In 2019, a lurking intruder drove Shaw to move out of her beloved Oakland apartment she'd lived in for 14 years. And then, right as her band was getting invited on big tours with bands like Greta Van Fleet and The Black Keys, her father was diagnosed with cancer (he has since, thankfully recovered). The resulting album is a reflection and intimate portrait of overcoming seemingly overwhelming odds, and not only surviving but thriving in the process.

The opening track "Do I Wanna Stay" is a slow tango between Shaw and an alluring piano line (Will Sprott). When Shaw rasps, "I dream at night," she sounds like Brenda Lee whittled into a shiv. "All Of My Cryin'," "Godstone," and "Year Of The Spider," pulse with elegance and punk ferocity. On a Clams record, you always get both. That duality comes from the decade-long creative partnership between Shaw and The Clams' guitarist Cody Blanchard. In "I Need You Bad," their voices lock into a bewitching minor chord. "It's like a zipper when we sing together," Shaw said, "I think we have a blood harmony, though we're not related." Bands that do have blood harmonies - the Everly Brothers, the BeeGees - are major musical touchstones for Shaw and Blanchard.

Blanchard mixed Spider at Dan Auerbach's Easy Eye Sound Studios the week tornadoes devastated parts of Nashville right before the COVID-19 shutdowns in early 2020. He also wrote and sings lead on roughly half the songs on Spider. His songs, like "Flowers Will Return" and "In The Hills, In The Pines," have swelling pop arrangements and a mysteriously sparse falsetto, reminiscent of bands like The Hollies and The Zombies.

Ultimately Year Of The Spider, despite being written the summer before the world came to a stop, is a prescient album and a reflection on love, loss, and community, and how what we fear can ultimately serve to protect us. "I am terrified of spiders, but my mom always told me that they are drawn to me," says Shannon Shaw. The turbulent period following the release of the band's previous album, Onion, allowed Shannon to consider arachnids in a different light. "The symbolism of the spider made a full turn in an interesting way," she said. "I was getting protection from the thing I feared the most." Plus, she said, "Spiders destroy the bulls bugs. Like mosquitoes. Who needs 'em?"

Shannon & The Clams is Shannon Shaw on bass and vocals, Cody Blanchard on guitar and vocals, Nate Mahan on drums, and Will Sprott on keyboards. The band has developed notoriety for lively and genuine stage performances, including on recent tours opening for The Black Keys and Greta Van Fleet, and a zealous following that craves their particular authenticity and innovation on classic sounds.






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