Shannon Wright – Perishable Goods EP

Shannon Wright
Perishable Goods EP

The first time I heard Shannon Wright, it was live in Austin on New Year’s Eve. The stage consisted of a drum kit (manned by Brian Teasley, better know as Birdstuff from Man or Astro-Man) a keyboard (attached to a HUGE “key note visualizer”), an acoustic guitar and a microphone. I must admit, was rather skeptical. I like my music fleshed out and rocked out in a way that basically requires the presence of a full band. So when I saw the minimal amount of equipment on stage, I worried that Shannon Wright would just be another singer songwriter.

I was very, very wrong. True, the songs contained stripped down instrumentation and focused on the vocals. However, Shannon’s songs balanced dangerously on edge, demanding my attention. Her incredibly powerful voice would careen from soothing to screaming quite suddenly, catching everyone off guard. By the time she finished, I was emotionally exhausted. Regaining my energy, I picked up her record, Maps of Tacit. Filled with fantastic songs that almost matched her explosive live intensity, it’s still one of my favorites. Plus, she played virtually every instrument (Birdstuff added drums on three tracks), and she played them well.

Perishable Goods is her new EP. Once again, Brain Teasley adds drums. Low six-stringer Alan Sparhawk appears on an excellent, if rather depressing, cover of the Bee Gee’s “I Started a Joke,” providing both guitar and backup vocals. All of Maps of Tacit‘s strengths return, and Shannon’s voice is as moving and disturbing as ever. The keys and piano still have a tendency to evoke images of a closing carnival. The guitar shifts and dances with the same off-kilter vitality. The songs flow well, and the intensity is unmistakable. In short, it is fantastic.