Track Of The Day: The Shacks – ‘Wings’

Brooding bass lines and hushed vocals urge listeners to have a “good time” on ‘Wings’, the latest single from The Shacks. Released via Big Crown Records, the track is a cool, smooth sounding call for everyone to cut loose and enjoy themselves.

Fronted by Shannon Wise (vocals, bass) and Max Shrager (guitar, production), The Shacks have been busy working on their second full length record, which is set for release in winter 2021. The New York band have built up a reputation for crafting hazy, melodic, crowd-pleasing tunes on their 2018 album Haze, and new track ‘Wings’ is no exception.

Wise’s quiet, yet intense vocals float over buzzing guitar and bass, willing even the most reluctant listeners to move their feet and shuffle their troubles away. The band have crafted an understated, grooving track that makes letting go feel genuinely effortless. Listen to ‘Wings’ below, and follow The Shacks on Spotify and Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington

ALBUM: The Wants – ‘Container’

Formed by Madison Velding-VanDam and Heather Elle from New York art-punk band Bodega, The Wants‘ debut album Container is a punchy, defiant, riot of a record that simultaneously reflects and resists anxiety, on both a personal and wider scale. With its swaggering beats, techno influences, and to-the-point lyricism; it flows seamlessly from track-to-track demanding uninterrupted listening from the offset.

The Wants began taking shape when drummer Jason Gates and Velding-VanDam met in New York in 2014, but became fully formed while Velding-VanDam and Elle were working together under the Bodega moniker years later. Realising they all had a passion for electronic music, the three began writing together, and Container is the result of this collaboration.

Instrumental opener ‘Ramp’ commands attention with its thudding kick drum, while eponymous track ‘Container’ pulses with brooding bass lines and deadpan lyrical delivery. Pounding instrumental ‘Machine Room’ bleeds in to ‘Fear My Society’. “Will you love me if I’m a failure?” agonises Velding-VanDam, over funky beats and surprisingly buoyant synths. It feels odd to dance around to a track that’s fueled by anxiety and alienation, but it’s a natural response to The Wants driving rhythms.

Making space to individually review each of Container‘s tracks feels odd, as the record is such a cohesive creation, where each track transitions smoothly in to the next. Instrumental ‘Aluminium’ blends in to the unsettling ‘Ape Trap’. “I will stay a deviant, or else I die of boredom” Velding-VanDam sings, desperate to escape his metaphorical cell. Instrumental ‘Waiting Room’ builds on this tension, until its relieved by the confessional ‘Clearly A Crisis’. “I have no intimacy, I’m never vul-ner-able” – Velding-VanDam takes care to repeat, and speak this line with intense clarity.

The funky beats on ‘Nuclear Party’ float around as the cute threat of “kiss my bombs” ricochets between your ears. The bouncy ‘Hydra’ follows, before eerie instrumental ‘Voltage’ closes the record on a somber note. It’s a striking offering, with each scratch, pulse, and echo captured clearly. The band recorded the album in their bedrooms and their rehearsal space — a re-purposed HANJIN shipping container situated in the middle of a dumpling factory parking lot — so it’s a testament to their personal, and joint production skills that these elements can be heard in the mix.

With their myriad of influences – including the literature of Jenny Holzer, the sounds of The National, and a love for techno –  The Wants have created a sonic space on Container that’s somewhere between the catchy electronics of Depeche Mode, the angsty lyrics of early Sonic Youth. It’s a distracting record, in the best possible way, and deserves your undivided attention.

Listen to Container in full here. Follow The Wants on Spotify and Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Madison Carroll

Kate Crudgington

WATCH: The Shacks – ‘Follow Me’

A polished collection of alluring visuals to accompany a graceful, alternative tune, New York band The Shacks have shared a new video for their latest single ‘Follow Me’. The song is taken from the band’s upcoming album Haze, which is set to be released on 23rd March via Big Crown Records.

Watch the ‘Follow Me’ video directed by Catherine Orchard below and follow The Shacks on Facebook for more updates.

Haze will be released on 23rd March. Pre-order your copy here.

Kate Crudgington