Transcendent folk-pop artist Shannon Lay has announced that she will release ‘August’, her Sub Pop debut, on 23rd August. Along with the announcement, she has shared the video for ‘Nowhere’, the album’s lead single, directed by Lay and Chris Slater.
She says of the song and visual:
“I want this song to emphasize the importance of enjoying the journey. The video is moments of in between travel footage, different settings around my home, singing in the bounty of spring. There is so much power in presence, enjoy every moment, savor every second. Cherish the memories made along the way and appreciate how they change and shape you.”
‘August’ refers to the month in 2017 when Lay quit her day job and fully gave herself over to music. This was her liberation as an artist, and the album is devoted to paying that forward to her listeners. “It’s a thank you to the universe,” says the Los Angeles artist. Exquisitely uplifting ‘August’ doubles as an aural baptism renewing her purpose for making music.
“I always picture music as this river. Everyone’s throwing things into this river, it’s a place you can go to and feed off of that energy,” she says, “and feel nourished by the fact that so many people are feeling what you’re feeling. It’s this beautiful exchange.”
You can listen to her cover of the classic Karen Dalton track “Something On Your Mind” here.
‘August’ was mostly written in three months, during Lay’s first solo tour for ‘Living Water’, her debut which Pitchfork described in their 7.8 review as, ‘a work of plainspoken mysticism that goes to the small, bright truth of things, showcasing her unusual songwriting and quietly commanding voice”, and was released via Mare Records, an imprint launched by Kevin Morby specifically for ‘Living Water’.
“For the most part, all of the songs were just guitar and voice,” she says. In keeping with the humbled, contemplative nature of August, most tracks clock-in at three minutes or less. She saved indulgence for the production. “Some songs as they were had this room to grow,” says Lay, who recorded the album with her longtime friend, musician Ty Segall at his home studio on the East Side.
“I believe whoever you record with tends to affect the mood of music and Ty really brought this jovial sense that I hadn’t really explored yet,” she says. “Once you get rolling with him, he just throws these ideas at the wall. And you’re like, ‘I would never have thought of that!’ I couldn’t have hoped for a better guide and energy to help create this record.”
Shannon Lay will tour as a member of Ty Segall’s Freedom Band for his upcoming full album residencies in Los Angeles, New York, Paris, London, Berlin, and Haarlem (See Pitchfork’s news story April 24th).
Following these shows, Shannon Lay will embark on an 18-date North American tour opening for Mikal Cronin.
1. Death Up Close
4. Shuffling Stoned
5. Past Time
8. Sea Came to Shore
9. Sunday Sundown
10. Something On Your Mind
12. The Dream
Shannon Lay on Spotify: https://u.subpop.com/2PrU3LJ
Shannon Lay on Apple Music: https://u.subpop.com/2GJJv83
Shannon Lay on Bandcamp: https://shannonlay.bandcamp.com/
Shannon Lay on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shannonlaymusic/
Shannon Lay on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/shanny2dope