Track Of The Day: Shannon & The Clams – ‘Year Of The Spider’

God, I love Shannon & The Clams. Channelling the playfulness – and the beehives – of the B52s, along with the sweet and spiky harmonies of the best ’60s girl groups, the Bay Area garage-rockers offer a fresh, fun take on rockabilly, delivered in a beautifully badass 21st century way.

With ‘Year of the Spider’, the second single from their upcoming sixth album, they retain their sense of fun, but there’s a real melancholy too. Underneath the big, bold choruses and cheeky rock ‘n’ roll posturing, front-person Shannon Shaw laments the serious illness of a family member. “Bad news called me on the phone…” – she sings – “The one you love; he needs a doctor. There were signs, I should I have known.”

Shaw’s strong and soulful voice soars, and is boosted further by the Clams’ woozy, psychedelic harmonies and raw, dirty production from the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach. It’s a poppy, powerful song that’ll hook you in and break your heart. I love it.

Watch the fun-filled new video for ‘Year Of The Spider’ here:

Shannon & The Clams’ upcoming sixth album, also entitled Year Of The Spider, is set for release 20th August via Easy Eye Sound / Concord. Pre-order here.

Victoria Conway

Photo Credit: Kristin Cofer

LISTEN: Joanna and the Dropouts – ‘Bad News’

‘Bad News’ by Brighton-based Joanna and the Dropouts is a breath of fresh air. With its rather addictive opening riff, garage drums and retro Wurlitzer-style keys, it transports you to a stupidly fun world of badass b-movies – and, in times like this, that’s a pretty wonderful place to be.

Singer Joanna’s cool vocals drip with attitude, channelling the Cramps’ Poison Ivy, as she sings about having her heart broken. Yet despite the subject matter, her anger and directness make ‘Bad News’ more of a battle cry than a pity party.

The song’s raw and dirty production, which makes it sound like it was recorded in a (probably haunted) basement somewhere, seals the deal and makes ‘Bad News’ feel like a proper rockabilly anthem. It’s nostalgic, but with a kick-ass attitude that brings it bang up to date. And I’m gonna have that riff stuck in my head for days!

‘Bad News’ is out now. Listen on Spotify.

Vic Conway

WATCH: Barbarella’s Bang Bang – ‘Cowboy Job’

Dust off your stetsons and straw bales, because Barbarella’s Bang Bang have shared visuals for their latest single ‘Cowboy Job’, and it’s a rockabilly rodeo you don’t want to miss out on. Released via their own label Barbarella Records, the song is a twisted ode to a past relationship.

Fronted by Barbara Pugliese, Barbarella’s Bang Bang are comprised of members originating from Italy, Latvia and London – so their garage-rock sound is infused with influences from classical to punk rock. The ironically titled ‘Cowboy Job’ takes a story of heartbreak and reforms it into one of empowerment.

“This is the first time that I’ve written about something that gave me a lot of grief, with groove”, Barbara explains. “In regards to the satire within the lyrics, I must say, it’s been a very efficient healing method. With humour, the weight of something heavy gets lighter and we can get over things a bit easier. I’m actually grateful for having encountered this in my life, I was inspired a lot artistically. Let’s say that there’s sometimes a pearl to be found in the trash!”

Regarding the video, the band added, “The concept of the video of ‘Cowboy Job’ was to create wonky western Arizona scenery made out of cardboard that would visually reflect a ‘cowboy job style’. We tried our best to come out with some acting episodes that would portray the anger, laughter, humour, charm, and deception conveyed from the narrative of the song…and we did a pretty good job! The team involved in the making of the video were all close mates who are amazingly talented artists and helped efficiently within the process of filming the video… it’s all about the collective spirit and DIY!”

We’re fans of BBB’s DIY endeavours! Watch the video for ‘Cowboy Job’ below and follow Barbarella’s Bang Bang on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Lou Smith

Kate Crudgington