Sarah Shook is a indie-rock and country music singer-songweiter since 2005. On 18th February 2022, she is releasing her third studio album alongside her band, The Disarmers. I had the opportunity to have a pre-release listen. Here are my thoughts.
Sarah Shook & The Disarmers – About The Artists
Sarah Shook was born on 15th September 1985 in Rochester, New York. Her fundamentalist Christian family. however, moved a lot during her childhood years. Even though music was restricted to classical and worship songs when she grew up, Shook managed to teach herself the piano and, later, acoustic guitar. She had her first band at the age of 25. In their third year, Sarah Shook and the Devil released a seven-song EP, Seven. However, the project broke up. Shook tried other band projects and finally formed Sarah Shook & the Disarmers. They had their first LP in 2015 (Sidelong) and added another one in 2018 (Years). Sarah Shook is nowadays identifying as atheist and bisexual and is active in supporting the LGBTQ community.
The lineup of the band changed, but for Nightroamer, Sarah Shook is supported by Eric Peterson (guitar), Aaron Oliva (bass), Phil Sullivan (pedal steel), Adam Ditch Kurtz (pedal steel), and Skip Adwards (organ).
Sarah Shook & The Disarmers – Nightroamer – Track by Track
The ten track album lasts 32 minutes.
1. Somebody Else
The first song is rather going towards indie-rock with a slight country-Americana touch. The short, little guitar main theme is a nice memorable musical item. Overall, a nice, melodic midtempo rocker, which is a bit of lacking major signature elements.
2. Been Lovin’ You
Slightly more power, a slight touch of alternative rock as well – I especially enjoy the presence of Sarah Shook’s voice in this one. Nice listen.
3. If It’s Poison
The songs nicely connect one to the next on this album. So far, no big surprises. The following song is solely altering some nuances. If It’s Poison has a nice vibe, a slight flavor of blues. Thus, listening to the album feels harmonic so far, without being monotonous or boring.
4. No Mistakes
From If It’s Poison to No Mistakes, Sarah Shook & the Disarmers take a bit of a larger step of change. The song works much stronger with instrumental options like the pedal steel and thus shows a strong alternative country rock touch. Nice.
Right in the “sandwich” position between No Mistakes and It Doesn’t Change Anything lies the title track. The country music touch is staying, the song gets slower, softer and almost feels like a ballad. The slight dissonance in Shook’s voice makes it very unique and catching to me. Definitely like the song.
6. It Doesn’t Change Anything
Interesting that two of the singles Sarah Shook and her team selected come with that rather strong country music vibe. This song comes back a lovely pedal steel backing and a beautiful, easy groove. One of my favorites on the album.
7. Please Be a Stranger
The seventh song goes back to the rock side of the band’s repertoire. The chorus has a lovely, easy-to-remember melody. Great melodic work on the pedal steel and guitars.
8. I Got This
I Got This is the most rhythmic song on the album. Do they really want to make us dance in here? There is still that indie-rock component in that song, so that ladies don’t need to change to high heels to enjoy the song.
Believer is heading towards an emotional touch and is slower than the songs before. Not too much added.
10. Talkin’ To Myself
Talkin’ To Myself is the surprising finale. The song has likely the highest level of guitar power and goes back to the alternative direction. The chorus might even make punk rock lovers smile while listening.
Sarah Shook & The Disarmers – Nightroamer – Spotify
Here is Nightroamer on Spotify:
Sarah Shook & The Disarmers – Nightroamer – My View
Sarah Shook and the Disarmers proof that they don’t only work well in rocking, dirty outlaw country sounds, but work very well in several flavors of the rock music business: Nightroamer is a really interesting listen. I miss one or two really smashing hits that stay in your mind for a long time. But on the other hand, the album does not come with contents which feels to force you to go for the skip button. Good stuff!
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