Though based out of New York City, Shivaree’s sound harkens to a place far removed from the big city. Their unique blend of smoky, torch songs and deep Western twang conjures images of some mythical cabaret in the Arizona desert. Front and centre are the bewitching vocals of Ambrosia Parsley, by turns wry, sad, innocent and seductive often in the same verse. Combined with some very sharp songwriting and musical arrangements, Shivaree definitely bring something new to the table.
While their terrifically-titled debut I Oughtta Give You A Shot In The Head For Making Me Live In This Dump got some acclaim, they couldn’t sustain it and their sophomore effort Rough Dreams only got a European release. But when Quentin Tarantino used their song “Goodnight Moon” in the closing sequence of Kill Bill 2, it put them right back on peoples’ radar, a fact that they hope to leverage with their new record, Who’s Got Trouble?
With this release, they’ve traded in some of the more overt countryish stylings for more a sophisticated approach, playing up the jazzier elements of their sound. The end result is fascinating and almost unsettling in its uniqueness. Most of the material tends to the slower side, only “I Close My Eyes” really approaches up-tempo, but this is a band that is perfectly comfortable in the lower BPM range. It may take a few listens for Who’s Got Trouble? to sink in, but it’s a rewarding experience.
Shivaree play the Lula Lounge tonight, February 15, and again on Thursday, February 17. Tickets $12.