On the opening title track of The Shacks’ debut full length, Haze, lead singer Shannon Wise sings, “I can’t avoid the haze.” This admission of defeat is more so a moment of success– by giving up to The Haze, The Shacks’ ability to transcend into a new, dreamy dimension starts on cue in the next track, “Follow Me.” The foggy melancholia of the album shows itself here, leading listeners into a realm of breezy, calming coos and vocal melodies strewn with delicate drum and guitar backings.
The Shacks include Wise, only twenty years old, and guitarist Max Shrager, twenty-one. It’s a bit fitting that their music feels like a cosmic upheaval, with songs that have the power to transport every sense to another place– calming and cooling, listening to Haze is like swimming in an inter-galactic pool. The duo is not new to the industry, though. Max began interning at the age of 14 at Daptone Records, which led to working with Sharon Jones and writing with Lana Del Rey and Naomi Shelton.
While The Shacks stick to a mostly lo-fi, surf-rock sound, “Birds” falls somewhere between an Americana Steely Dan crossover– twangy guitars blend effortlessly with bluesy guitar riffs strung about. Placement is where The Shacks find their niche, knowing exactly where to push forward and pull back.
It’s hard not to follow The Shacks into the rabbit hole they’ve so elegantly created. With such an out of this universe debut, this is surely not the last we will be hearing from The Shacks.