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Shannon & The Clams Debut New Music Video For “Backstreets”

This morning, Shannon & The Clams debut their new music video for “Backstreets,” the third single from their forthcoming album Onion (February 16thEasy Eye Sound), via Consequence of Sound who say, “the track itself is filled with dusty glam, a spaghetti western written as much for Oakland’s darker alleys as the neon lights of downtown Nashville.” The band also provided a behind-the-scenes look at the making and influences behind their latest single in an interview with COS, and added: “Backstreets” has had a tumultuous existence. It was one of the last things we wrote for the record. It had a completely different hook at first and nobody liked it except our keyboard player Will and we tabled it, but Will saw promise there and really wanted it to make the album. At the final rehearsals before leaving for Nashville, he suggested we just keep the verses and mash the song together with this other glammy hook I had written (the half-time “takin’ the backstreets…” part) that needed verses to go with it and we all loved the weird combo. Read Shannon & The Clams interview with Consequence of Sound and watch “Backstreets” here.

Shannon & The Clams are newly confirmed for 2018’s Panorama Music Festival, which will be held the weekend of July 27th on Randall’s Island in New York City. The band will perform on Sunday, July 29th and tickets for the festival can be found here.

Shannon & The Clams will release their fifth studio album, Onion on February 16th via Easy Eye Sound. The album, produced by The Black Keys front man, Dan Auerbach, at his Nashville studio, finds a finely tuned and tour-tested band stretching out from the 60s-inspired, surf inflected rock that has defined their previous releases, and delves into genres including soul and psychedelic pop. On their new LP, the band explores themes of origin and self-determination, loss and recovery, and the power of community to heal after tragedy. “It’s okay for people to interpret the songs,” Shannon Shaw says. “You can put your own story into it if that helps you heal. I just want people to feel something, whatever it is.” Onion is available for pre-order on CD, vinyl, and digitally here.

Recently, Shannon & The Clams debuted their new music video for “Did You Love Me” via Billboard, who say “their new visual for the song “Did You Love Me” gives a taste of just how unique the project is going to be, as the band transcends genre boundaries to deliver a performance that is impossible to fit into a single category. ” The band also debuted their music video for Onion’s lead single, “The Boy,” via Noiseywho call the song “a sparkling, hook-laden track that immediately gets under your skin with its wall-of-sound chorus, rife with crisp guitar strums, cascading riffs, and raw harmonies led by vocalist-guitarist Cody Blanchard.”

The Clams have also been confirmed as openers for the 20-date “Easy Eye Sound Revue Tour,” with Dan Auerbach and Robert Finley. The extensive North American tour will kick off on February 10 in Vancouver with stops in Brooklyn, Portland, Austin, Seattle, Los Angeles, Nashville and more (full dates below). Tickets for this tour are on sale now and can be purchased here.

Shannon & The Clams recorded Onion over ten days in early 2017 at Dan Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound Studio in Nashville, where he helped refine and embellish the songs and steer the album. “He works in this very layered style,” Cody says. “He has all these instruments in the studio mic’d up at all times, ready to go. You can go back and add all these layers of instruments really fast and then cut stuff away in the mix.” With Shannon and Cody focused on pinning down the songs and tracking vocals, Nate and Will dug into the studio’s wealth of instruments, tapping into their own years of songwriting and multi-instrumental experience to ornament and color the tracks, which lead to the band’s most nuanced and layered album to date.

The themes of origin and introspection are central to Onion, and each song wrestles with the idea of identity, and identity’s origin as a collection of experiences. “I had this epiphany that was likening an onion to being human and how you’re nothing without layers of experience,” Shannon says, “Every time you think you’ve figured something out there’s just another layer beneath it.  Each song on this album is about problem solving and having realizations about yourself.” Album opener “The Boy” is quintessential Clams. Written by Cody, the track speaks about the way childhood experiences stick with and shape you, for better or worse, and hang around forever like baggage until you choose to lose them. “It’s Gonna Go Away,” written by Shannon, is the album’s biggest stylistic departure and muses on the notion that all in life is temporary, the good and the bad, and finding comfort in that.

Shannon & The Clams had already begun writing for the Onion sessions in Fall 2016, when their world was rattled by the Oakland Ghost Ship warehouse fire in early December. In the wake of the fire, the band looked back at their origins in the Oakland underground and the importance of that world to their genesis. They could recognize the community as a delicate incubator for fringe art, and an unstable but nurturing place for performers to practice and cross-pollinate where there otherwise is no platform. The song “Backstreets” is Cody’s response to the Ghost Ship fire, and particularly the issues of artist housing and being forced to make your own way in a society that is not arranged to accommodate artists. Album closer “Don’t Close Your Eyes” is Shannon’s response, an inspirational ballad urging those suffering through loss to not give up in the midst of tragedy.

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. In this current iteration, Shannon and the Clams, consisting of Shannon Shaw on bass and vocals, Cody Blanchard on guitar and vocals, Nate Mahan on drums, and Will Sprott on keyboards, have developed notoriety for lively and genuine stage performances and a zealous following that craves their particular authenticity and innovation on classic sounds.

Onion Track Listing

  1. The Boy

  2. It’s Gonna Go Away

  3. Backstreets

  4. If You Could Know

  5. I Never Wanted Love

  6. Onion

  7. Did You Love Me

  8. Love Strike

  9. I Leave Again

  10. Tryin’

  11. Tell Me When You Leave

  12. Strange Wind

  13. Don’t Close Your Eyes

Dan Auerbach & the Easy Eye Sound Revue featuring Robert Finley,
Shannon Shaw with special guests Shannon & the Clams

February 10 /// Vancouver, BC /// Vogue Theatre
February 11 /// Portland, OR /// Crystal Ballroom
February 12 /// Seattle, WA /// The Showbox
February 14 /// San Francisco, CA /// The Fillmore
February 15 /// San Francisco, CA /// The Fillmore
February 17 /// Los Angeles, CA ///  The Wiltern
February 18 /// Santa Ana, CA /// The Observatory
February 19 /// San Diego, CA /// The Observatory North Park
February 20 /// Phoenix, AZ /// The Van Buren
February 22  /// Dallas, TX /// Canton Hall
February 23 /// Austin, TX /// Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater
February 25  /// Nashville, TN /// Ryman Auditorium
March 22 /// Washington, DC /// 9:30 Club
March 24 /// Philadelphia, PA /// Union Transfer
March 25 /// Boston, MA /// House of Blues
March 27 /// Brooklyn, NY /// Brooklyn Steel
March 28 /// Port Chester, NY /// The Capitol Theatre
March 29 /// Toronto, ON /// Danforth Music Hall
March 31 /// Cleveland, OH /// Agora Theater
April 02 /// Chicago, IL /// Riviera Theatre
April 03 /// St. Paul, MN /// Palace Theatre
April 04 /// Kansas City, MO /// The Truman
April 05 /// Denver, CO /// Paramount Theatre
July 09 /// New York, NY /// Panorama Music Festival

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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