THE SHIVERS are a rock-pop group, based out of Queens, New York, comprising the exceptional talents of Keith Zarriello (lead vocals, guitar) and Jo Schornikow(vocals, keys/organ).
Keith is your typical East Coast American tortured neurotic / love-lorn romantic, and part time estate-agent; Jo, your typical Australian travelling dreamer, virtuoso keyboard player, and part time church-organist. Together, they’ve created one of the most beautifully compelling albums you’re likely to hear all year: MORE.
MORE is The Shivers’ sixth album, and first with Fence – indeed, with any label in UK – and is their strongest, most focussed collection of songs yet.
The duo travelled over to the UK in 2010 with their drummer friend Tom Raysmith, and recorded straight to tape at Analogue Catalogue – an all analogue studio, in Manchester. The album was taken back over the Atlantic, mixed by Adam Lasus (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Yo La Tengo), and mastered to tape by Joe Lambert (Dirty Projectors, Animal Collective, Deerhunter) – the band proudly declairing on the sleeve notes “no computers were used in the recording, mixing or mastering of this record”.
To maintain this non-digital feel and ethic, Fence have pressed the album on vinyl LP (ensuring that every copy comes with a CD, incase you don’t have a turntable!).
Although recorded in Manchester, MORE is very much rooted in New York City – Keith’s delivery steeped in the spirit of classic songwriters from his hometown and the surrounding scene, spread over the last 5 decades. From the Springsteen-sway of ‘Irrational Love’, and The Strokes-fuelled punch of ‘Used To Be’, to the biting Cohen-esque balladry of ‘Silent Weapons For Quiet Wars’, and the Dylan-soaked drawl of ‘More’; an emotional integrity and personality is preserved, infused with a reverence that never once strays into pastiche.
In much the same way as the band sought to capture a pure, untouched recording, at its core, this is an album of love songs that each possess an undeniable sincerity of expression and feeling. Frustration, lust, anger, relief, bitterness and yearning all exist in their separate guises across ten tracks – with Keith’s performance suitably volatile throughout.
Jo (who is pictured on the album’s sleeve) compliments Keith’s passion with arrangements that provide a rich warmth and gritty confidence to MORE – taking care not to overwhelm the songs. Her feel for balance and symmetry is apparent as soon as the needle drops, with both sides of vinyl opening with instrumentals; ‘My Mouth Is For My Love’ mirrors a melodic theme from album closer ‘More’; side B opens with ‘Two Solitudes’, an atmospheric organ-led coda to the previous side’s ‘Love Is In The Air’.
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