Shakey Graves – ‘And The War Came’

Shakey Graves

Brooklyn – Shakey Graves is the moniker of Alejandro Rose-Garcia, a born-and-raised Texan whose auditory personality is as large as his native state. His new record, and sophomore endeavor, And The War Came, is scheduled for release on October 7 via Dualtone Records. Those in the know have waited expectantly for this second effort to surface, and for good reason. This record is voluminous like a historic novel, and packs more cathartic, grit-infused indie rock than ever before.

Self produced with the help of Chris Boosahda, the forthcoming album is a follow up to Rose-Garcia’s debut LP, Roll The Bones (2011). Shortly after Shakey Graves’ smashing debut, NPR described this act as “frighteningly good,” and the New York Times observed that Rose-Garcia “makes the one-man band approach look effortless.” That’s high praise, and inarguably well deserved.  (Ed., Best New Bands named him its 2013 Newbie Award winner for Best New Male Artist.)

For And The War Came, Rose-Garcia couples soul-searing folk ballads with unstoppably brazen blues-rock. The record opens on a fake-out 7-second, ambient sample that leads directly into “Only Son.” This is a knockout track, pure and simple, layered with complementary harmonies, heavy-handed strumming and a kick drum backdrop. Quiet at times and bold at others, there is a natural beauty to this cut that clearly demonstrates Shakey Graves’ inimitable range. “Only Son” is hot and cold, and will stick to you like glue.

“The Perfect Parts” and “If Not For You” swerve the album in an entirely different direction. “The Perfect Parts” leans into electronic guitar melodies and progresses into dark-hued vocalizing and liberal percussion. The breakdown of this track is masterfully endearing, though unapologetically defiant. “If Not For You,” similarly, opens on wailing electronic guitars and dissolves into something that resembles “country Interpol,” if such a genre existed.

Another evident standout is “House of Winston.” Though the lyrical narrative of this track is reserved, its sprawling sentimentality is not lost on listeners. “Pansy Waltz,” another triumph, is an aptly titled cut that adds a healthy dose of time signature variety to the collection at large.

At times, Rose-Garcia hikes harder-edged ridgelines on his latest. But never does the record wander too far from Shakey Graves’ penchant for indie-folk. By and large, it is an album fit to soundtrack a dazzling campfire gathering, and could match that starry night sky with unequivocal charm. When we collectively break the seal on And Then The War Came on the 7th, longtime lovers of this Texan wonder will want for nothing.

Established fans will also be pleased to learn that Shakey Graves is about to embark on a tireless North American tour, which kick starts in New York City on September 26 and carries through to December 14. For those just itching for more, feel free to gaze longingly at the track list below and revel in the sneak peak of “Only Son” via the fine folks at Lagunitas (cheers!).

Shakey Graves – And The War Came – Track Listing

1. This Is The Beginning

2. Only Son

3. Dearly Departed (featuring Esme Patterson)

4. The Perfect Parts

5. Hard Wired

6. Family And Genus

7. Big Time Nashville Star (featuring Esme Patterson)

8. Pansy Waltz

9. House Of Winston

10. If Not For You

11. Call It Heaven (featuring Esme Patterson)

Liz Rowley

Liz Rowley

Born in Mexico and raised in Toronto, Jerusalem and Chicago by a pair of journalists, Liz comes to with an inherited love of writing. After discovering a niche for herself in music journalism and radio while at Bates College in Maine, she always keeps a running playlist of new music to soundtrack her place in the world. Liz is passionate about helping dedicated, talented musicians gain the exposure they deserve. A recent transplant to Brooklyn from Hawaii, she is plagued by an incurable case of wanderlust and cursed with an affinity for old maps and old things like typewriters and vintage books. She adores photography and running and is very good with plants. Having come of age in Chicago, Wilco speaks to her soul. If she could be anything, she would be a cat in a Murakami novel.
Liz Rowley