Somewhere deep in the expanses of the Austin music scene, between the shaggy-haired garage rockers and the hushed voices of indie pop is a band whose sugary tales of youth are as swoon-inducing as its amps are joltingly loud. This band is Shivery Shakes.
Founded in 2011 by William Glosup, Shivery Shakes is best described as a mix between the jangly rock of ‘90s band Pavement and the oh-so-cool ‘60s pop feel of Roy Orbison.
“I feel like we occupy a unique space in that because if you went to a typical Austin indie pop band show, we would be too loud and raucous for that, but if you go to a garage rock show we would be the most sweet sounding band there,” drummer Marcus Haddon said. “It wouldn’t sound rough at all.”
Shivery Shakes is made up of Glosup on vocals and guitar, Haddon on drums, Andrew Penmer on bass and Ryan Hall on guitar.
Since the band’s formation, Shivery Shakes released an EP in March 2012 and recently changed its lineup. The band is now gearing up to record a new 7” record. Like the first EP, the band has decided to record the 7” on analog tape rather than through a digital recording program.
“At the end you have a physical artifact of your work,” Hall said. “You actually have that reel. That’s something more disparate from you and files on a computer.”
The band feels its efforts to record through a process often hailed as outdated aids it in creating a more vintage sound.
“I’m really attached to recording analog, I think, because even though we’re writing modern pop songs, the production style and the sounds we’re achieving are what make it more of an homage to ‘60s music,” Glosup said.
A quick listen to “Stay Young” instantly evokes the warmest visions of wasting away an afternoon in your friend’s backyard. This special retro-tinged, upbeat brand of music sets the band apart from the typical pop band.
“I think Will’s lyrics play into it a lot,” Penmer said. “They try not to be too generic. It’s very straightforward what he’s singing about.”
Indeed Glosup’s lyrical delivery keeps the music grounded in the present, complete with complaints about minimum wage and hangovers that sound exactly like your best friend filling you in on last night.
“We’re not like revivalists,” Hadden said. “It’s not like a revivalist band that you’re supposed to hear and go, ‘Oh, is this some band from the ‘60s I don’t know about?’ You should know it’s from right now.”
It’s easy to hear the influence from both ‘60s and early ‘90s indie pop music in Shivery Shakes’ dreamy background “oohs” and “ahs” over sunny surf-rock guitars, but an element of modernity in the band’s songwriting remains at the forefront of its sound.
“I think we’re taking the straight ahead approach of making modern pop music that maybe draws some from the past, but I think that’s always kind of just been like the modern youth experience and what it’s like living today,” Glosup said. “That’s what all the songs are about. What it’s like kind of being young today. Trials and tribulations and maybe some fun stuff too.”
Shivery Shakes plays Saturday night at Hotel Vegas for the Growl EP release show.
Printed on Thursday, January 31, 2013 as: Shivery Shakes rocks Austin