I have been spending time with The Shivers’ live session.
The songs are rich. Emotionally devastating. Terribly personal. Burgeoning with raw honesty and profound simplicity.
They’re so good, the only way to half-convey their amazing qualities is to grunt deeply-originated primal utterances in conjunction with dramatically grasping fists while squirming from the depths of your being. Something like that.
Keith and Jo of The Shivers grab down into your gut and squeeze you with their bare gravity, skirting the edges of sadness and bliss.
The Shivers are unmistakably influenced by The Velvet Underground. Keith’s sound is a handsome textural granite that sparkles with flecks of unselfconscious Bob Dylan and Tom Waits, the timing and weightiness of old Leonard Cohen, in moments practically channeling Lou Reed stylistically. Singularly compelling in his songwriting, singing and guitar playing and tacitly counterculture, Keith has the makings of a legendary icon.
He’s a Brooklyn guy from Queens and it shows. He came dressed solemnly, exuding the tone of a sobered priest, sweaty with penetrating sensitivity and desire, ready to roll his sleeves up and shoot hoops with kids in the park.
Jo’s from Melbourne, Australia. Her out-there creativity and openness is other-worldly. Genial in spirit, she’s sunny, still, easygoing. Caressing the studio Hammond organ, she elegantly poured herself into their songs with love. Her high, whispery notes in Feather impel armhairs to stand at attention atop goosebumps. On the other tracks, she’s entirely Jaggeresque. Her harmonies bear uncanny resemblance to Mick’s voice of the early Stones. She sweetly complements Keith’s Rocky Balboa gushing lead.
What a pair. They hold space for each other. They work together, delicately navigating a minefield of impassioned musical terrain. It makes you want to hold your breath, to bathe suspended in their naturally captivating beauty.
Lyrically, The Shivers songs present a window into intimate first-person experiences.
In Stare, they croon,”Do you know why I stare? Have you seen yourself lately in your underwear, baby? And you’re just so beautiful when you think that nobody is watching you and you’re your true self.”
In Horses, there’s a seductive hook, “… you know I’m impossible to please, but honey could you try for me…”
Beauty is a full blown bomb. It opens with crackly slapping reverb, generated authentically from Keith’s guitar through our ’65 Fender amp. His vocal is attractively tremblesome as he delivers forgiving lyrics of unconditional acceptance: “…and if you ever leave me, I never will be sore…”. Every time I hear that it catches me off-guard and causes my heart to expand a little more.
The Shivers songs are like making love on a woodsy trail. They take you right to the edge and then some, extending a wide palette of pleasure.
listen to the songs (option/click to download):