Shakey Graves' upcoming album worth seeking outBy Amy Marino | 10/06/2014 11:33am
A native of Austin, Texas, and former actor (think “Friday Night Lights” and “Spy Kids”), one-man folk phenomenon Shakey Graves captivates listeners with his velvety voice, insane instrumental multi-tasking and effortlessly charming stage persona.
His album release of “And the War Came” is a pivotal career move for Graves; up until now, he has managed to cultivate a huge fan base without the assistance of typical promotional strategies such as releasing his music on Spotify and iTunes, signing with a label or getting radio air time. Using Bandcamp as his only music-sharing outlet for his past musical endeavors, like his debut album “Roll the Bones,” Graves has topped the site’s playing charts over and over again.What’s his reasoning for being minimalist in terms of marketing himself? Simply put, the fans. Graves spent three years building a fan base consisting of people who truly “discovered” him. In doing so, he has maintained dedicated listeners all over the country who feel personally invested and connected with his music, which is a rare and honorable feat.
Although previously exclusive as a one-man band, Graves’ new effort with “And the War Came” is full of collaborations and even features a band. According to Graves, he always aspired to play music with others but never had the means to do so. This is believable, considering the variety of instruments he uses, including an old, suitcase-contrived kick drum.
Rarely seen without his cowboy hat, boots and suspenders over a wife-beater, it’s clear Graves knows a thing or two about sustaining a performance persona, which makes him all the more endearing. Shakey shows expertise in captivating a crowd. When he plays, everyone listens, and it’s no accident – he’s pretty methodical about it. He strategically shifts tempos, uses a variety of octaves and quickly alternates between yells and whispers. All of these tactics ensure that the audience stays free from boredom or distraction.
This Alejandro Rose-Garcia is someone who is exceptionally original, and people are quickly catching on. Since he signed with a label, some of his singles for the upcoming album can be found on Spotify and iTunes. “Dearly Departed,” a duet from the album performed in a Spotify Session with singer and friend Esme Patterson from Denver band Paper Bird, quickly became Spotify’s most viral song, now averaging over two million streams.
The song is absurdly good and promises to be stuck in your head for weeks to come. To add to the obvious chemistry between the two and the perfection of their blended voices, it is comprised of stop and start percussion, electric guitar and best of all, hand claps. Patterson is featured on three songs from the album.
Although the single seems to be the birth of a more pop-oriented Shakey Graves, the album has been described as a mixture of genres, layered with strong and soft undertones. If anything, the singles thus far have given assurance of an incredible album filled with excellent musicianship and lyricism.