Live Concert Photography: Shana Falana with Parlor Walls, Queens of Jeans and Pop and Obachan at Sunnyvale 10/20/16
Shana Falana is a California-born, New York-based singer/songwriter and guitarist, who has spent time in San Francisco‘s D.I.Y. scene and in a Bulgarian women’s choir before relocating to New York. By 2006, Falana had been struggling through drug addiction and money woes when she lost part of her index finger in a work-related accident. And while under most normal circumstances the accident might be considered extremely unlucky and perhaps even tragic, the settlement money the California-born, New York-based singer/songwriter received provided her a much-needed period of financial stability and desperately-needed period in which she could overcome her addictions, get sober and find a new focus in her life and her music.
Much of the material off Falana’s sophomore effort, Here Comes the Wave was conceptualized and written during two different parts of her life — while she was struggling with drug addiction and trying to get sober; and in the subsequent years that have followed while being sober; and had significant portions rewritten, revised and refined. Ultimately, the material winds up thematically being centered around a common duality — “then and now,” and on transformation, emotional turmoil, and the inner strength and resolve to overcome, the acceptance of aging, the death of her father, and time passing. Sonically, the material covers diverse moods while possessing elements of shoegaze, gothic pop, indie rock — with a deeply confessional nature.
Interestingly, Here Comes the Wave also manages to be the second collaboration with producer D. James Goodwin, best known for his work with Bob Weir, Whitney 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; but while being relentlessly positive and upbeat. Falana along with her collaborator Amari stopped at Sunnyvale earlier this month while on a continuing and lengthy Stateside tour to support and celebrate the release of her excellent, sophomore effort, along with Brooklyn’s Parlor Walls, Philadelphia, PA‘s Queens of Jeans and Brooklyn’s Pop and Obachan. Check out tour dates and photos from the show below.
If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past few months, you may recall that I’ve come across a few bills that included New York-based trio Parlor Walls. Comprised of Alyse Lamb, Chris Mulligan and Kate Mohanty, the trio specializes in sound that possesses elements of experimental jazz, acid/free jazz, punk rock and New Wave paired with Lamb’s sultry cooing, howls and shouts.
Comprised of Miriam Devora, Matheson Glass, Nina Scotto and Patrick Wall, Philadelphia, PA-based indie rock Queens of Jeans’ sound reminded me quite a bit of La Sera and others as plaintive vocals were paired with shimmering, subtly country western guitar chords and a propulsive backbeat, complete with a cool and humble self-assuredness.
Opening the night was the Brooklyn-based act Pop and Obachan. Comprised of primary and founding members Emma Tringali and Jake Smisloff, and featuring Evan Daves, Del Montgomery, Clan McCarthy and Matia Emsellem, the project’s sound reminded me of a more muscular version of Memoryhouse.