Molly said meet here “on Black Oak Hill.
A mile past the quarry, there’s a whiskey still.
We’ll find our sweet Shalimar
under the gospel of the stars.
Come on boy, let me hear you sing.
Rock & roll is natural thing.”
- “Rock and Roll is a Natural Thing”
“When the tide of love is coming in,
I cannot swim”
- “The Tide of Love”
“If you learn to dance between
The dots on the dice
if you like your honey on the edge of a knife
New York City is Paradise.”
-“New York City is Paradise #2”
A dynamic collection of 17 tracks following up on 2012’s critically acclaimed “ghost songs, waltzes and rock & roll.”
The new record was produced by Tom and mastered by Grammy winner Brian Lucey (The Black Keys, The Shins, The Arctic Monkeys, Beck, The Arcs). It was recorded mostly in Williamsburg, with a few bits done in Ireland and Vermont.
In 2011 the critically acclaimed EP “Get Real or Get Gone” was released and and 2012 brought “ghost songs, waltzes and rock & roll,” an heralded full length. Those records were co-produced by Tom and Charles Newman (Magnetic Fields, Stephin Merritt).
“I Hate to See Your Spirit Fade” continues and deepens the world of songs Shaner staked out on “ghost songs…” You will hear rockers, ballads, waltzes and cinematic story songs.
Tom has been described many different ways. Some have said he is somewhere between Leonard Cohen and Radiohead, among other comparisons. One thing is for sure, his music roots are deep. Informed by American acoustic and electric blues, Sun Records, the British Invasion, Punk, New Wave to hip hop to indie rock, Shaner is known for his rich and mercurial songwriting. He is also appreciated for his highly entertaining and engaging videos as well his live performances, usually with his excellent band and occasionally solo acoustic. Though the moods on the album vary, it is all unmistakably Tom Shaner.
In the end, Tom Shaner is adding his part to songwriting traditions made vital by the likes of Hank Williams Sr., Dylan, Waits and Costello.
The song arrangements, sometimes sparse, sometimes rich, always carry a strong poetic sense in the lyrics and engaging melodies and rhythms along with great, soulful playing by all musicians. There are songs like the opener, the prairie tango “Viva Las Nowhere,” the Kinks/Randy Newman-esque “Vanessa the Vegan Murderess,” the bittersweet intimate ballad “The Tide of Love,” onto the nocturnal urban cinema-scape of “Lake 48” to dreamy waltzes like “Last Summer” to rave ups like “When the Devil Comes Callin’.” There are stripped down, haunting ballads contrasting with rhythmically swampy story songs such as “Rock and Roll is A Natural Thing” where in one verse Eminem (as “Slim Shady”) runs into 19th songwriter Stephen Foster, ailing on the Bowery in New York City. You will hear a couple of duets with pal Emmy Bean. “True Love is Hard Work” and “New Rebel Girl.” The latter is a tribute to Malala Yousafzi.
When Tom was lead singer and songwriter for NYC based band Industrial Tepee, he was a buddy and protégé of Jeff Buckley. And though he has toured nationally and done a lot of shows in Ireland, (where he met his wife while performing in Cork in 2007), he is a New York City songwriter. What does that mean? That, along from Shaner’s own musical tastes, and inclinations, to live and write in New York City one may end with influences that one is unaware of, drifting in from the vibrant and colorful melting pot of the city.
Tom’s music can be heard in various films and TV shows. At present, Tom is busy at work directing and editing and several videos that will help promote “I Hate to See Your Spirit Fade.” Give it a good listen.
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|* New dates are shown in RED|
The Aquarian March 2013 (link)
Galway Independent January 2013 (link)
New York Music Daily November 2012 (link)
BabySue November 2012 (link)
Plug In November 2012 (link)
Rustzine November 2012 (link)
Tom Shaner is thoroughly American, completely New York, 100% right now, and this is an album that simply must be heard.“Ghost Songs, Waltzes, and Rock & Roll…” It's an all-time great album, from a rarified artist. Essential.
Ghost Songs, Waltzes and Rock n Roll is long overdue…the best thing he’s ever done. The songs’ lyrics are terse, cynical and clever: Although many of the songs have a dusky desert feel, a familiar urban milieu recurs throughout the album. That factors in heavily on the funniest song here, the deadpan, early Elvis Costello-ish “Unstoppable Hipster”…One of the best albums of 2012, no question.
- New York Music Daily
It is this eclectic taste, which lends his dusty Americana a fresh and modern sound. but, while his sound has its roots in the past, it is not stuck there. ‘Forever Drug” sounds like Beck jamming with Alabama 3.Like his namesake, Mr Waits, Tom’s songs often have an undercurrent of humor running through them; even the more somber numbers have an eccentricity to them that few artists can muster. Tom Shaner’s music has an infectious swagger and underlying positivity that seems effortless.
- Galway Independent
Streets Of Galway, Rosa Lee and Sun Girl #2 have a certain intimacy of expression while Sinners Highway and Where Grief Becomes Grace are brilliant observational slices of life. And with Unstoppable Hipster, Shaner proves that he has a dry but winning sense of humor. One for the rock scholar to dissect and savour.
- Power of pop/TodayOnline-Kevin Matthews
These fifteen songs combine elements from folk, pop, Americana, blues, and more...all combined into a smooth cohesive mix that should appeal to listeners of all ages. Ghost Songs is another direct hit. Intriguing cuts include "Sister Satellite," "The Streets of Galway," "Downtown Has Done Damage" (our favorite), "Foreverland," and "My House Is Green.
"Festooned with melodies and lyrical incisiveness."
"One of more impressive acts I've heard in years"
- Washington Post
"Rich lyrics and elusively poetic qualities will hold your undivided attention."
- Transaction Magazine
"Feel like songs you’ve known and loved for years."
- Ink 19
"Sounds somewhere between Talking Heads, Tom Waits and the Beatles."
- Mountain Express