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Shelby Earl — The Man Who Made Himself a Name

Shelby Earl — The Man Who Made Himself a Name (March 10th, 2017)

  Shelby Earl — The Man Who Made Himself a Name Shelby Earl — The Man Who Made Himself a Name (March 10th, 2017)↑↓★↑↓     I have been fortunate to see Shelby Earl perform in many different and unique settings. I originally saw her at Doe Bay years ago, and since then have seen her play in the woods on Whidbey Island in record low temps, perform at house shows and SMooCH, to last weekend’s album release show at the Tractor. Shelby Earl is on a roll. She has put in, and continues to put in the hard work it takes to make your passion something real. She has made her dream a reality. Shelby’s recent performance her  “The Man Who Made Himself A Name” album release was her best yet.  The album is out and ready to grab. So go get yours before they disappear! Upon the release of her debut solo album (Burn the Boats), Shelby Earl was named by NPR music writer Ann Powers as her “new favorite songwriter.” Earl’s 2nd album, Swift Arrows (produced by Damien Jurado), gained further acclaim, and in the words of Benjamin Gibbard (DCFC) “proves [Shelby] has the most heartbreakingly beautiful voice in Seattle.”
↑↓★↑↓     The Man Who Made Himself a Name takes on a multitude of sounds that bring out both joy and pain in equal doses. The mix of pop, folk, and gospel textures make each song stand out as they keep the listener eager and pleasantly surprised throughout. — Elizabeth Andrews
Location: Seattle, Washington
Album release: March 10th, 2017
Record Label: Nine Mile Records
Duration:     37:13
01 The Man Who Made Himself a Name     3:33
02 James     3:43
03 Stay with Me Tonight     4:49
04 The Vapors     2:57
05 Call Her Mercy     3:11
06 Strong Swimmer     3:38
07 Like I Do (feat. Josiah Johnson)     3:34    
08 Chemical Hearts     3:23
09 Not Afraid to Die     3:31
10 Boxing Gloves     3:04
11 What Am I to Do     3:30
℗ 2017 Nine Mile Records
•••   Shelby Earl (lead vocals/guitar),
•••   Aaron Benson (drums/percussion),
•••   BC Campbell (bass/guitar/percussion),
•••   Martin Feveyear (synth),
•••   Eric Howk (guitars/theraminator),
•••   Nick Shadel (piano, keyboards, percussion)
♦⁄♦    STRING ARRANGEMENTS on “Like I Do” — Andrew Joslyn
♦⁄♦    GUEST VOCALISTS: Eric Anderson on “Boxing Gloves” & Josiah Johnson on “Like I Do”
♦⁄♦    BACKING VOCALISTS: Aaron Benson, BC Campbell, Ragan Crowe, Shelby Earl, Martin Feveyear, Rachel Flotard, Eric Howk, Anna~Lisa Notter, Fidelia Schoolcraft, Nick Shadel
♦⁄♦    PHOTOS — Genevieve Pierson
♦⁄♦    DESIGN — Andy Stewart
♦⁄♦    PRODUCED — Martin Feveyear with The Spectacles & Shelby Earl
♦⁄♦    MIXED and MASTERED — Martin Feveyear
♦⁄♦    ADDITIONAL PRODUCTION — Aaron Benson, Ragan Crowe & Eric Howk
♦⁄♦    All songs written — Shelby Earl
♦⁄♦    Except “Not Afraid to Die” WRITTENShelby Earl & Mark Watrous, and “Like I Do” WRITTENShelby Earl, Josiah Johnson & Nick Shadel 
Credits Overall:
♦ψ♦   Eric Anderson Vocals
♦ψ♦   Aaron Benson Additional Production, Drums, Percussion, Vocals (Background)
♦ψ♦   BC Campbell Bass, Guitar, Percussion, Vocals (Background)
♦ψ♦   Ragan Crowe Additional Production, Vocals (Background)
♦ψ♦   Galen Disston Vocals (Background)
♦ψ♦   Shelby Earl Composer, Guitar, Producer, Vocals, Vocals (Background)
♦ψ♦   Martin Feveyear Mastering, Mixing, Producer, Synthesizer, Vocals (Background)
♦ψ♦   Rachel Flotard Vocals (Background)
♦ψ♦   Eric Howk Additional Production, Guitar, Vocals (Background)
♦ψ♦   Josiah Johnson Composer, Vocals
♦ψ♦   Anna~Lisa Notter Vocals (Background)
♦ψ♦   Genevieve Pierson Photography
♦ψ♦   Fidelia Schoolcraft Vocals (Background)
♦ψ♦   Nick Shadel Composer, Keyboards, Percussion, Piano, Vocals (Background)
♦ψ♦   The Spectacles Producer
♦ψ♦   Andy Stewart Design
♦ψ♦   Mark Watrous Composer
By Eric R. Danton  |  March 7, 2017  |  11:54am  |  Score: 7.7
•••   It’s not that Shelby Earl has been playing it safe: the Seattle singer quit a good job at Amazon a while back to put all her energy into making music, which is nothing if not daring. Yet she takes chances on her new album, pushing herself in ways she hadn’t on her first two.
•••   Those LPs — Burn the Boats in 2011 and Swift Arrows in 2013 — were vehicles for Earl’s voice, a rich and expressive instrument capable of substantial power. The Man Who Made Himself a Name is less a vehicle than a co~conspirator riding shotgun and reaching over to stomp on the accelerator. It’s a bigger, bolder collection with a rocked~up edge on songs that are more robust than her earlier work.
•••   The first clue that she had an expansive new sound in mind came in 2015, when she teamed with the Seattle production crew the Spectacles to record “Stay With Me Tonight.” The tune was supposed to be a one~off collaboration, but the result — a sleek, seductive jam with eddies of strings and a sexy bassline — was enticing enough to lure them all back into the studio to see where else their chemistry could lead them.
•••   The bigger tone is evident right from the start. Earl’s voice ranges from soft and conversational to booming power, and she’s accompanied on the opening title track by loose, jangling electric guitar and synths that cruise along over a propulsive rhythm. It’s full speed ahead from there. The beat rules “James”: it’s taut and solid through the verses, building to climactic refrains bristling with guitar and Earl’s ringing vocals, and then receding back to a restless invitation to move your hips. There’s a surf~y retro vibe to “The Vapors” in the bright, trebly guitar and thumping tom~tom beat, and an imposing high~octane guitar lick that opens “Chemical Hearts.”
•••   Earl hasn’t shed all restraint: the driving acoustic guitar and resolute vocals on “Strong Swimmer” are a link to the sound of her previous albums. “Like I Do” is a wrenching gutbucket duet with Josiah Johnson of the Head and the Heart, while “Call Her Mercy” is a slow~burner with gleaming electric piano and majestic bursts of guitar framing her torchy voice as she starts with a startling suggestion: “Let’s have a baby.” At the risk of reading too much autobiography into her songs, that’s not a sentiment that Earl would have included on her previous work. They were more introspective affairs, given to confronting the fear and uncertainty that life can sometimes pile on.
•••   Though there are still dark elements in these character sketches — the too~little, too~late attentions of the namesake suitor on “James,” say, or the overdeveloped willingness to scrap over fading love on “Boxing Gloves” — Earl mostly sounds joyful here. The bigger arrangements help in that regard: there’s an athleticism about these songs that makes it impossible to spend much time brooding over lost love or regrettable choices, rather than powering through. The Man Who Made Himself a Name shows that Earl has made it out the other side.   •••   https://www.pastemagazine.com/
Shelby Earl Makes a Name
•••   Shelby Earl is back and bigger than ever on her new record The Man Who Made Himself a Name. Moving away from the folksier sound of her last two albums, Earl puts her crystalline voice to more boisterous use this time around, bursting out of her shell, ensuring she is heard. Playing with a much more pop~heavy aesthetic than she has in the past, Earl has created more groovable jams with The Man Who Made Himself a Name. And while a few don’t quite stand out, there are also a few that will garner multiple listens.
•••   The dreamy “Stay With Me Tonight” is a favorite on this record, with its soaring seventies flute accents and Earl’s gentle background vocals. It’s a love song that is all at once, sexy, stylish and sweet. “Call Her Mercy” is similarly affecting and astral, as it imagines having a baby with a lover to a flowing, cool melody. When Earl lets out the last few primal notes, we’re on air. “Chemical Hearts” takes this sound and makes it even bigger, inflating it to soaring heights. And “What Am I To Do” brings the most drama on the record, and perhaps also some of the most personal songwriting. A heart~rending, sparse, but otherworldly look back at a relationship, it will stick with you.
•••   Earl returns to her roots a bit with the gospel tinged folk song “Strong Swimmer”, a song about femininity, perseverance, and independence. It’s an acoustic, stripped down melody, but the lyrics make up for it. “Each time that I walk/Out the front door/A new muscle is born/And with every tear/I’m filling the ocean/I’ll swim in next year/And oh what a strong swimmer I’ll be/By then,” she sings, or better yet, preaches, because we’re all feeling more empowered having listened to her.   •••   http://nodepression.com/
Bandcamp: https://shelbyearl.bandcamp.com/album/the-man-who-made-himself-a-name
Website: http://www.shelbyearl.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ShelbyEarl
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ShelbyEarlMusician

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