New Audio: Shana Falana Returns with a Gauzy Yet Visceral and Heartfelt Bit of Shoegaze Inspired by Personal Turmoil

Earlier this month, I had written about California-born, New York-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Shana Falana. Before relocating to New York in 2006, Falana had spent time in San Francisco‘s D.I.Y. scene in a number of projects and and in a Bulgarian women’s choir. By the time Falana had relocated, the California-born singer/songwriter and guitarist had been struggling through both debilitating drug addiction and money woes, when she had lost part of her index finger in a work-related accident.  And while under most normal circumstances such an event may be considered extremely unlucky, the settlement money the California-born, New York-based singer/songwriter received actually provided her a period of financial stability that allowed her the much needed time and space she needed to overcome her addictions and find a new focus in her life and music.

Reportedly, much of the music on Falana’s much-anticipated sophomore full-length effort Here Comes the Wave was conceptualized both during one of the most difficult periods of her life and in the subsequent years that followed, and has been continually refined over the the years. And as result the album thematically is centered around one of the most common dualities of all of our lives, “then and now” or better yet, who we thought we were then and who we were then, who we think we are now and who we are now — and how emotional turmoil can influence our continuous transformation. Interestingly, as Falana has mentioned in press notes on the new album, “Somehow, I knew those songs would serve me well later,” and at least one of Here Comes the Wave‘s songs reportedly foreshadows its creator’s eventual sobriety while other songs reportedly accept the passing of youth, the death of her father and other themes that come up as one gets older.

Interestingly, Here Comes the Wave also manages to be the second collaboration with producer D. James Goodwin, best known for his work with Bob WeirWhitney and Kevin Morby and with her long-time partner, collaborator and drummer Mike Amari. And the album has Goodwin and Amari playing much larger roles than on Falana’s debut as the collaborative trio went for audacious sounds and heightened moments — and for being bold as possible.  Last month, I wrote about the album’s first single “Lie 2 Me,” a single that had Falana and Amari pairing enormous and buzzing power chord-heavy riffs and thunderous drumming with Falana’s anguished howls before ending with an explosive blast of feedback before slowly fading out. Lyrically, the song is full of bitter recrimination, accusation, self-doubt, self-flagellation and dysfunction -–and as a result, the song feels bilious and fucked up while sonically nodding at L7PJ Harvey and others.

Here Comes The Wave‘s second and latest single “Cloudbeats,” is a gauzy and hopeful bit of shoegaze that sonically nods at A Storm in Heaven-era The Verve, as underneath its shimmering surface is an array of conflicting emotion: the song’s narrator has the wherewithal to look at a future in which she’s sober and has her life together, while openly suggesting to herself, “it’ll get better, trust me — but with the acknowledgement that in order to get there, sometimes one has to go through the sturm und rang of life first. By far, the song manages to be the most viscerally honest and heartfelt portrayal of booth addition and recovery I’ve heard in some time.

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