Athens, GA-based multi-instrumentalist Thayer Sarrano has had quite an interesting life: Sarrano grew up in a monastery and in the swamps of Georgia’s southern coast. As a child, Sarrano was classically trained, wrote poetry and compositions — but it was 90s grunge that captured her heart. Songwriting (in the pop/rock sense) came when she relocated to Athens, GA and began collaborating with friends and other musicians in the college town’s vibrant music scene to start her own band, and she quickly began to establish herself as one of the town’s go-to session and touring players, as she can claim stints with Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven, T. Hardy Morris, of Montreal, Dave Marr, David Barbe and others.
With the release of Sarrano’s first two efforts, King (2009) and Lift Your Eyes to the Hills (2012), the Athens, GA-based singer/songwriter received national and international praise with media outlets such as Americana UK dubbing her, “the new Queen of Shoegaze.” Sarrano’s third and latest effort, Shaky was informed by and inspired by a period of profound loss while further cementing her burgeoning reputation for a sound that meshes dusty, twangy country, murky and moody blues and stoner rock.
Album title track “Shaky” is a sparse and atmospheric song comprised of bluesy guitar chords, simple yet propulsive drumming and Thayer’s ethereal vocals. Much like the album’s previously released material, “Shaky” conjures the lingering ghosts of one’s life — the failed relationships, the misguided, stupid decisions, lost opportunities, crippling indecision and insecurity that can often push us towards our own damnation while possessing an aching and urgent longing. At the core of the song is a dysfunctional and doomed relationship in which both parties experience an irresistible push and pull towards each other; they love hard and desperately, fight hard and desperately and repeat endlessly.
Despite the sense of damnation and woe within the song, there’s a sense of facing it with a sense of faith, resolve and determination, as though the narrator of the song will commit themselves to submitting to their fate, and to an omnipotent power, and as a result it evokes a sound that attempts to reach out heavenward from the muck and grime.
The official video is shot in a cinematic black and white, and features Sarrano singing the song’s lyrics in the foreground of a darkened movie studio set, but just behind her shadowy figures representing the relationship at the song’s core dance and fight behind her — that is until the video takes on a psychedelic and French art film bent. It’s haunting and absolutely gorgeous.
Check out the tour dates below, and if Sarrano stops at a music venue near you, go out and catch her.
09.18 Seney-Stovall Chapel (Athens, GA)
09.23 Berry College (Mount Berry, GA)
09.25 The Five Spot (Nashville, TN)
09.29 Petra’s (Charlotte, NC)
10.09 Rockwood Music Hall (New York, NY)