An Album of One’s Own

The New York­er gave Sarah Shan­non’s solo debut album a favor­able review:

fashion changes little in 10 years

From the open­ing trum­pet-and-sax­o­phone vol­ley of Sarah Shannon’s self-titled début (Casa Record­ing Co.), it is clear that the singer is fin­ished with the basic gui­tar-drum-and-bass set­up of her indie-rock past, when she was the front woman for the intro­spec­tive pop out­fit Veloc­i­ty Girl.

Here, Shan­non (who plays the Knit­ting Fac­to­ry this week) has assem­bled a small orches­tra of horns, strings, and wood­winds, and the result is a warm paean to the pow­er of the imag­i­na­tion. The songs cov­er famil­iar sub­jects, most­ly love sought and love lost, but the album isn’t a del­i­cate col­lec­tion of wilt­ing cham­ber pop. “I’ll Run Away,” which is pro­pelled by the piano work of col­lab­o­ra­tor Blake Wescott (he pro­duced the album and co-wrote a num­ber of its songs), is a strong­ly defi­ant piece rem­i­nis­cent of Car­ole King. “What’s Mine” bumps and grinds along on Wescott’s gui­tar chords, and it includes the staunch cho­rus “I don’t want to waste your time, but I got a feel­ing you’ve got what’s mine.”

The best part of the record, though, is Shannon’s won­der­ful voice, which makes each song a gem.

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