The Shivers – Charades
Celebrating its tenth anniversary with this reissue, Charades is enigmatic, wistful, and the ideal foil to the glut of modern pop that surrounds us.
Many, many years ago I was introduced to Conor Oberst’s band Bright Eyes by a friend who thought I might find the music interesting as we had previously been discussing the work of Simon and Garfunkel. At first I had struggled to see the link, but as time went on, and as I began to listen to a wider range of alt.folk, the connections became clearer. I mention this because listening to The Shivers’ tenth anniversary re-release of their album Charades brings me smack bang in the middle of those experiences and feelings I had all those years ago. It’s perhaps telling that an album being reissued a decade after its first release should conjure up such a sense of nostalgia. It’s also important to note that this doesn’t harm the music in any way. If anything, it still sounds fresh, and relevant. When we get so much pop and dubstep thrown at us from every angle, a little offbeat lo fi folk is, let’s face it, a breath of fresh air. Tracks like ‘Beauty’ are like drinking deeply from a well of fresh water in a dry and dusty land, while ‘Violence’ is all jagged and angular, ferociously understated for its first half and blundering into a honking, wandering second half that sounds one part lost and one part looking for answers by trail and error. ‘Bedroomer’ is an instrumental that channels the classic sounds of Casiotone For The Painfully Alone, another band that saw most of its output some ten years ago, while ‘Sunshine’ plays out like a disturbing, dark lullaby that is more likely to keep you up at night scared than sleep soundly.
Preorder Charades here