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The Shimmers - The Way You Shine

The Way You Shine

The Shimmers

Available from Transit of Venus.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker
(progdawg@hotmail.com).

From the opening measures, this CD drops the listener into a gauzy world of back road beauty in folk tapestries with mild hints of Arabian mystery beneath Eden Daniels' sirenic vocals. Her writing partner, David Bielenko, possesses an extremely satiny tendency in instrumental composition while dueting the vocals with her. There's little soloing here, the emphasis being on group dynamics in support of melodies underscoring encanted lines. Such an intent endows a rich texture to each cut, pulling back a bit in balladic material like You Want More, which nonetheless finds its way to an understated symphonic high ground.

The Shimmers appear to be a quartet with Chris Unrath dropping his guitar in on four cuts, Jonathan Segel's violin appearing in five, opening up the envelope each time it begins to rhapsodize. Ned Sonstein contributes percussive additions to Ronnie Vance's drums while Andrew Chalfen shores up the other half of the bottom rhythm unit, wielding the bass. Jesus is My Friend joins a number of similarly based songs in the rock catalogue as an interesting take on religious rebellion away from the commercialization of religion. The feel of the cut is in October Project territory, not as blown out as May Fahl would state things (and, oh, how beautifully she does!) but just as positive and exultant while imbued with bittersweet longing.

The Way You Shine is a conflation of nu-folk and mellowly countrified prairie rock exploring new territories while standing firmly on past gains, pulling the genre slowly forward. The xeno-sonorous elements complement everything masterfully (listen to the repeating guitar figure in Sun Goes Down, a song with powerful aspects of Kaleidoscope's obscure but killer Seven Ate Sweet), sliding into a state of slow acclimation masquing a quite progressive fundament where one blissfully swims, then drowns, then returns to repeat the experience.

Track List:

  • The Letter
  • Sun Goes Down
  • You Want More
  • Small Grey House
  • Jesus is my Friend (Chalfen / Daniels)
  • My Whole Life (Bielenko / Daniels / Chalfen)
  • Here I Stand
  • All My Days
  • Train Train (traditional arr. by Bielenko / Eden)
  • Coal
All Songs written by David Bielenko and Eden Daniels except as noted.

Edited by: David N. Pyles
(dnpyles@acousticmusic.com)

Copyright 2008, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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