The Kingston NY-based experimental, shoegaze/dream pop artist Shana Falana has received praise from several publications throughout her musical career for a live set that’s comprised of live looped vocals drenched in layers of reverb, pre-recorded backing tracks, shimmering guitar and thundering drums, paired with mood-setting visual projections.
Next week marks the much-anticipated release of Falana’s full-length solo debut effort, Set Your Lightning Free. And in the press notes, Falana described the writing and recording process as a deliberate attempt to break her own self-professed rules. “I’ve always kept the different sides of my music separate. The ambient ballads, the fuzzed out stuff, they all needed to exist as their own statements,” Falana explains. “I would have two or three bands at one time: a sludge rock band; a Bulgarian women’s choir; a pretty, dreamy organ and guitar duo. This is the first record where I’ve combined all of that, sometimes in the course of one song.”Instead of spending several months in the studio, laboring and fussing over arrangements and takes, Falana along with drummer and collaborator Mike Amari, and producer Dan Goodwin, who has worked with DEVO and Kaki King recorded the album in a week with the informal working mantra (and I’m paraphrasing here) of first idea, best idea and don’t look back. And that working mantra gives the material a raw, primal urgency that belies it’s gauzy, dreamy feel.
The album’s latest single “Go” continues the mood and tone developed from the album’s first single “Heavenstay” as shimmering guitars and paired with thundering drums; however, Falana’s vocals take on a punk rock-like sneer that heightens the urgent, swooning Romanticism of the song – throughout the song the narrator is professing her devotion. In some way, the song to my ears, bears a resemblance to PJ Harvey – it possesses a similar stormy, moody feel.