What happens when a gipsy folk singer-songwriter wants to create a sonic story of love and wonderment? Enter Shana Cleveland who with her 2019 album ‘Night of the Worm Moon’ mixes rustic folk with expressive sounds of other worlds.
That sounds a little pretentious but it’s something Shana pulls off with ease. Take ‘A New Song’ for example. The guitars, organs and Shanas voice are gentle like a dusty lullaby. In the background small synth shimmer and detuned guitar feedback twist and bend. It slowly moves you off-kilter and creates an eerie feeling. It is something Tanya Donelly does a lot when she mixes dark tones and country together. Shana isn’t far off from that vibe but is a little more folk focused than country.
Each of the ten songs hits you in a different way. ‘I’ll never know’ is an acoustic shuffle of confessions and unknowing. ‘Faces of the Sun’ is a dark cowboy anthem. ‘In Another Realm’ is gentle and delicate with ethereal strings and guitar breathes. The title track mixes a little of everything together with a very catchy riff. There is a little of early Lisa Germano hidden under the country soaked surface and that is no bad thing. One of the things I adore about this album is how together it feels. Each song bleeds into the next emotionally if not sonically and I feel like the album tells a story of a single night tale.
‘Night of the Worm Moon’ is one of those albums that grows on you with each listen. The songs grow and transform into deep and cathartic experiences and the lyrics are full of golden statements and thoughts on the world around us. Shana Cleveland has made an exceptional album. If you are looking for a gentle psychedelic hippy folk singer-songwriter (that’s a mouthful!) then I strongly recommend you take a trip to the Worm Moon. You won’t be disappointed.