New York’s The Shacks are critics’ favourites and start their European headline tour here in Limerick this week
THE Shacks are a New York quartet in their early 20s.
Singer/ bassist Shannon Wise, guitarist/ producer Max Shrager, keyboardist Evan Heinze and drummer Ben Borchers mine the ’60s psychedelic pop of The Kinks and The Velvet Underground producing a hazy, dreamlike sound for a new generation.
From high school friendships the musicians grew into veterans of the road and studio in a few short years.
Guitarist/ producer Max Shrager caught the attention of Daptone Records at the young age of 14. His email and demo to label producer Gabe Roth got Shrager an internship at the label.
Within a few years, Shrager was on the road gigging with Charles Bradley and Lee Fields, and by the time he was 17, he’d penned singles for the likes of Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens.
The Shacks were born when Max Shrager invited Shannon Wise to add vocals to a track produced by Leon Michels (Big Crown Records). She nailed it in one take.
Max Shrager and Leon Michels produced The Shack’s debut album, ‘Haze’. Previously Michels played with Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings and worked with The Arcs, Lana Del Rey and Lady Gaga.
Says Max Shrager, “Leon is a producer in the very traditional sense of the word.
“He’s the kind of producer who develops an artist and helps them realise their potential. He invested a lot of time in us and got us going so that we can really run on our own engine now.”
Shannon Wise adds that the recording method of the album is very traditional and recorded to analogue tape.
“In the studio, we like to cut the rhythm tracks live,” explains Wise. “It’s all about performing together and getting that right take where everyone’s on point and in the moment.”
In January 2018, The Shacks were named NPR Music Slingshot artist and toured the US and UK with Khruangbin, before playing SXSW showcases.
Their debut album ‘Haze’ came out in April and has gathered positive press from Pitchfork and NPR.
“Music that envisions comforting, classic sensations like cascading spirals of woodsy incense…sun-drenched and intoxicating” – Pitchfork
“mesmerizing…a livid world of half-seen glances and whispered promises” – NPR Music
Limerick’s Seoda Shows is hosting the gig. It is a labour of love for the promoter:
“Shannon’s vocal just completely floored me. The more I heard, the more I wanted to hear. I ended up spending the next hour or so scanning Youtube for anything I could find.
“Radio sessions, all the official videos. They were my new favourite act!”