The Shivers were first brought to my attention when one of our readers recommended them to me (thanks again Tobi!). After receiving the recommendation and while doing a little Internet research on them, I discovered an MP3 for their moody and sweltering cut “Beauty.” It’s one of those perfect slices of lo-fi rock and roll that is beautifully mingled with bruised desperation and hopeless emotion (i.e. “I live off love / I feed off love / I breathe off love / I think of love / I drink of love / I sink in love / and in the middle of the night I need my love / I need to grieve and I need to need and need to be in love”). It certainly caught my attention and was posted here on numerous occasions, and so when I recently received an email notifying me that their latest album – titled More – was set for release on May 10th (digitally on May 3rd) – I was all ears.
I’ve taken the record for a few spins, and I’m definitely liking what I’m hearing. All the elements that made me fall in love with “Beauty” are here. There are those gritty, devastating love songs that I find so undeniable. There are sparkling keys and pastoral organs. There are mesmerizing guitar riffs and brooding ambiance. The first single from the album – “Used To Be” – is an upbeat, keyboard driven slice of garage pop. Its one of the few times that keyboards take the center stage on the album. It is unusually upbeat, but it is hardly the only time they disguise a battered-old love song with a deceptively upbeat melody (also check out “Irrational Love” for example). Sure other tracks like “Loves In The Air” are soaring and optimistic, while others like “Kisses” bleed soul, but there is no question that “Used To Be” is quite unlike anything else on the album. But that could be said for a number of songs on the album. The Shivers’ songwriters, Keith Zarriello and Jo Schornikow, clearly decided to take some chances with this one. The results are very satisfying as they have honed the skills that made them so promising before while trying out a few new tricks. In my mind, this is their best album to date, and one that I can highly recommend. I suspect this will appeal to fans of The National and The Twilight Singers. More is available for pre-order from Silence Breaks (first 50 pre-orders get it on limited edition white vinyl). If you are in the Bay Area – catch them at Cafe du Nord on May 4th.