There are songs that make you want to sing and dance, there are songs that make you laugh and cry. Some songs plainly evoke an imaginary scene in a non-existent movie during their first listen. The music of Shiver Canyon boasts all these qualities; a cinematic, dreamlike birdsong which dances around genre and expectation with surprising virtuosity.
The solo songwriting project of Roni Shewan, this month marks the release and launch of Shiver Canyon’s debut, self-titled EP. The release was co-produced by Shewan and Red Black and features performances by fellow Melbourne musicians Benjamin Dalton, Matthew Delaney, Daniel O’Keefe, Matthew Reid and David Robinson.
Cinematic, evocative and confronting at points, Shiver Canyon’s debut EP is a triumph of varied, evolutionary songwriting from a promising Melbourne artist.
An immediate standout on the EP is Shewan’s own vocal performance. As drenched in reverb as some of the guitar work, her voice flies high upon the top of the mix, always echoing amongst the instrumental flux we’re consistently presented.
There’s a haunting quality to Shewan’s vocals which are hard to place. A seeming focus upon working within minor chord structures, a penchant for worrisome lyricism and an instrumental backing which captures a sense of foreboding all work to enhance this quality. It has the listener hanging on to her every word, for fear it may be her last.
Lead single A New World, released 10 days ago, was a perfect forerunner’s choice. Shewan’s harmonious wails reach peak emotiveness amongst the dramatic chorus, surrounded by Eastern-influenced, seemingly improvised guitar hooks.
EP closer The Girl With The Flaxen Hair is another highlight, but finds drama in a slow build rather than the highs and lows of A New World. A prominent footnote on a powerful track list, Shewan draws you into a melancholy storyline, enrapturing the listener in the spellbinding arc of the protagonist’s cursed life.
And just as you believe the EP has drawn to an end, a bridge flies into existence with soaring lyricism, more deliberate instrumental work (especially on the guitar) and impassioned percussion.
Shiver Canyon is a zealous debut from a definite artist to watch.
Shiver Canyon are officially launching their debut, self-titled EP on March 23 at The Grace Darling Hotel in Collingwood, Victoria. Grab all the details, and your tickets, here.
The Shiver Canyon EP is out tomorrow.