Every once in a while I find a band that makes me want to pack up everything I own (including my cat but she probably owns me) and move to the place where a band I’ve fallen in love with are. One listen of Shawnis And The Shimmers and I am hooked and mentally escaping to Richmond, Virginia to follow them around and become their biggest fan. However, I can’t do it so I’ll do it from afar and from my mind.
Shawnis And The Shimmers make the kind of DIY style music that makes you disregard everything you’ve ever heard. There’s this beautiful basement band feel to their sound- this infectious raw style that will just stay with you on a loop for hours on end. I’ve definitely fallen in love here. There’s also the side that makes me wish I had an ounce of musical talent so I could make songs like they do. Instead, I just write about what I love instead because I can just about do that! There’s this slight Rockabilly sound going on, but for me it’s the muffled vocals and that fuzzy sound of theirs that I just adore.
They’ve got a couple of releases up on their Bandcamp page, and of course they leave you wanting more. Every strong band does that. If I was someone who couldn’t get to sleep at night (for the most part I can) I’d be blasting their sounds out through my headphones every night around 2am until my body finally felt like all energy had been zapped out of me, and my brain had calmed down a bit. This band make the kind of music that you just want to have constantly playing- treat ’em like your own personal soundtrack to your daily life- even if you’re doing mundane tasks.
They released the Wasteland Demo a year ago and a few months later in October, they released the Shimmer Shake EP. I love both records, and they both sum up their sound perfectly. Unapologetically loud and the kind of Queer Punk band I can’t get enough of. They make you want to trash your room, trash someone else’s room even! Their sound is so liberating, and in a way reminds me of New York Dolls and how they weren’t afraid to really push themselves with their sound. But there’s also hints of Riot Grrrrl flowing through. In short, this band are where its at! Imagine growing up in a town in the middle of nowhere then all of a sudden you hear this band! It’d change your life wouldn’t it! You’d finally believe there was a way out.
Wasteland Demo record is ridiculous. It’s so good it should be a crime. It’s got a gnarly sound to it that makes you feel like you’re hearing the future of something that’s yet to be named yet. What I love about this record in particular is that they make you fee as if you’re watching them in a garage or basement rehearsing these songs but at the same time- having this unfiltered sound that is so raw that it is already perfect this way. A chaotic noise-fest which is just a delight to the ears. You’ve got songs like Beer Jacket and Don’t Wait Up are underground classics. You can easily imagine every single one of their songs being played in queer dive bars that exude freedom in all ways possible, and everyone just screaming the songs back at the band- covered in sweat and beer. Maybe not even your own but who cares!
There’s hints of bands like Dead Boys in some of their songs like Wasteland, and that’s all you could ever want from your new favourite Punk band, right?! I don’t know if Shawnis And The Shimmers may ever make it to the UK to tour, but in my mind when I listen to them- I am front row singing the songs right back at them. Their sound is pure magic and you just can’t get enough of it.