SHANNON LAY – ” Geist ” Album Of The Month

Posted: October 9, 2021 in MUSIC
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Shannon Lay recorded a sombre folk album during the American lockdown, which was then beautifully
coloured by quite a few musicians and that soon surpasses her great previous albums .The American singer-songwriter Shannon Lay already showed on her previous albums that she is not only a great singer, but also an excellent songwriter. You can hear it even more clearly on the “Geist” released this week. It is an album with a sober acoustic basis, which has been coloured in a very tasteful way by a number of guest musicians. It delivers a warm-blooded and timeless sound, which colours beautifully with the beautiful voice of the American musician. “Geist” builds on the previous two albums of the musician from Los Angeles, but makes a bit more of an impression. Annual lists material for lovers of contemporary folk with here and there a longing for the past.

After “All This Life Goin Down” from 2016, “Living Water” from 2017 and August from 2019, “Geist” is already the fourth album by American musician.

The music on “Living Water” that reminded me of illustrious American folk singers from a distant past like Karen Dalton, Linda Perhacs and Judee Sill, but I also heard something from Joni Mitchell. The great thing about Shannon Lay’s music, however, was that one moment she took you back to the distant past, but the next moment she sounded quirky and contemporary.

It is a line that was extended to the August produced by Ty Segall, which at most sounded a bit fuller than its predecessor. “Geist” released this week is again a logical continuation of that album.
The musician from Los Angeles, California, started her new album on her own due to the lockdown in the studio of Jarvis Tavinere of the band Woods. The recorded basis of acoustic guitar and the voice of the musician is beautiful, but was eventually further coloured by quite a few musicians, including multi-instrumentalists Ben Boye (Bonnie Prince Billy) and Devin Hoff (Sharon Van Etten), who added strings, among other things. Then some keyboards were added and Ty Segall was allowed to play a guitar solo.
Despite all the additions, “Geist” is a pretty sober sounding album, on which the bass played by Shannon Lay still dominates. Also on “Geist”, the music of the American musician still reminds of folk singers from a distant past, but the album sounds a bit more contemporary than its predecessors and occasionally also contains some influences from Celtic music.

The accents that have been applied by the aforementioned musicians are particularly tasteful and also provide the album with a special atmosphere and subcutaneous tension. Just like on her previous album, Shannon Lay draws for beautiful but also adventurous songs, to which she adds an over of Syd Barrett’s Late Night.

The musician from Los Angeles delivered a high-quality album with “August” two years ago, but I personally like “Geist” a little better, especially because the album leans less on the past and sounds completely timeless. Geist is an album that is completely convincing immediately upon first listen, but because of the special accents and twists in the instrumentation and the imaginative songs, it is also an album that becomes even better and more interesting for a long time. It is currently raining five-star reviews for the American musician and there is really nothing to argue with.

Geist” feels like a window – or a mirror – into possibilities of the self and beyond. Shannon Lay’s new album is tender intensity, placeless and ethereal. It exists in the chasms of the present — a world populated by shadow selves, spiritual awakenings, déjà vu, and past lives.

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