Shana Falana
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Shana Falana

Kingston, NY | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | INDIE

Kingston, NY | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2011
Duo Rock Avant-garde

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"Deli Magazine NYC/ Shana Falana"

Emerging from Brooklyn's crowded field of shoegaze-influenced artists comes the unique vocal talent of Shana Falana. The current weekly residency at Pete's Candy Store for the month of September (there are two more shows, the 21st and 28th at 10:00 pm) is leading up to her the release show for her new EP ""In The Light" on October 6 at Shea Stadium. Produced by Kevin McMahaon (Swants, Titus Andronicus) and mixed by Gareth Jones (Grizzly Bear, Mogwai, Interpol) the record perfectly captures what Shana does best: positive music of wonderment and discovery. Inspired by Bulgarian folk music, her sound often reflects the genre's asymmetrical rhythms. “Light The Fire”is hypnotic, chill-enducing and powerful. “In The Light” presents vocals that are pure and straightforward, with diction having only the slightest of creative affectation (“everything” becomes “Av-erything”). A strong cello undercurrent allows Shana to soar above with multi-layered choruses of her own vocals. Never unappealing sleigh bells usher in “Yeah Yeah.” An even more ethereal choir sings those words to varying patterns. The guitars begin to chunk along and the drums thunder in kind. Her vocal production embraces the same cathedrals Simon & Garfunkel explored during their finest moments (think “Only Living Boy In NYC”). Catch Shana at one of her upcoming shows for a truly rewarding listening experience. - Dave Cromwell - Deli Magazine NYC


"In Your Speakers/ Shana Falana"

Shana Falana's nearly two-decade musical career began in San Francisco, where her participation in the city's diverse music scene allowed her many opportunities to expand her musical horizons. These musical projects, one of which was a Bulgarian women's choir, have greatly influenced her subsequent artistic output. Shana's newest EP, In the Light, is a beautiful, aural trip, through droning musical environments that seem to glow as they slip past.

The EP's first track, “Dizzy Chant,” greets the listener with a wonderful drone persisting throughout the entirety of the song. As the drone begins to swell, Shana's guitar enters the scene, dancing around that constant droning backbone of the song and creating a dizzying almost swirling effect. Then, Shana's hypnotic vocals are layered atop everything, as a drum, somewhat muffled and distant sounding, keeps the track moving forward.

I haven't listened to a recent album that focused so heavily on drone since The Black Angels released Passover in 2006, and while I loved that album, it left me with the impression that droning lent itself to a sound much darker than what Shana has created. Don't get me wrong, the shadows are there, but there is a certain satisfying, positive energy Shana has injected into this EP.

The second track, “Light the Fire,” brings back the drone, and as its musical elements combine, into an atmospherically beautiful song, it has this strange way of evoking images of women dancing around a fire-pit, while chanting the title of the song. It reminds me of a children's schoolyard game, such as “Ring Around the Rosie.” Such a bright and joyous song.

The songs on In the Light are all uplifting,
healing and supportive of the feminine, as Shana has said. These themes are more easily identifiable on “In the Light” and “U. R. Everything” more so than on the other tracks. Some narrow-minded men may read that and think, thanks for telling me which tracks to avoid, but that is not what I'm saying, at all. They are great tracks and reflect the motherly and nurturing aspects of femininity.

In the past, albums that made heavy use of drone have tended to make a strong first impression, which fades as I listen to it more. I might attribute this to the fact that some artists use drone to create a gloomy, depressing atmosphere, which begins to seem superficial and gimmicky after repeated listens. The music on Shana Falana's EP, however, has grown on me over the past week. It's nice to hear a droning shoegaze album that is so uplifting. - In Your Speakers


"Psych Major/ Feature"

Determined to get her newfound sound down on tape, Falana booked time with producer Kevin McMahon (Swans, Titus Andronicus) at Marcata Recording in Gardiner and emerged with this year’s “official” debut, the six-song In the Light (Independent). Mixed by Gareth Jones (Grizzly Bear, Interpol) and featuring cellist Jane Scarpantoni (R.E.M., Lou Reed), the EP is easily the songstress’s most fully realized effort, both sonically and compositionally. For evidence, listeners have only to open their lobes to the swelling, near-cantorial “Light the Fire” or the title track, which hijacks the featherweight ’70s AM fare of 10CC and Alan Parsons and somehow, impossibly, remakes it into a soaring anthem for the post-lo-fi generation. - Chronogram


Discography

Shana Falana/ Velvet Pop
Shana Falana/Channel
Shana Falana/ In the Light

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Bio

“Beautifully layered harmonies and droned out drums drive Shana Falana’s upcoming shoegaze-y record.” – Noisey

 

“If you want to zone out, Shana Falana’s alluring debut LP gives many opportunities to do so.” – Pitchfork

 

“This is an album that pivots on a resistance to any sort of central tenet, constantly moving forward, shedding skin as it goes.” – Stereogum

 

“a kaleidoscopic, trippy gem that shines as brilliantly in 2015 as it would’ve in a Berkeley drug den during the Summer of Love” - Village Voice

 

It’s been a busy couple of years since New York’s Shana Falana went solo, self-releasing 2011’s In The Light EP. The veteran dream pop artist has toured all over the US and Europe. She’s released two Bandcamp-only collections of lo-fi works, Channel and Velvet Pop, as well as a cassette-only document of her early-career music, Shana Falana Sings Herself To Sleep, which raised over $10k for the Euro Tour. She frequently throws new song ideas onto her Soundcloud, often recorded directly to her phone. But for all her globetrotting, archiving, and micro-releasing, this is the moment we’ve been waiting for: Set Your Lightning Fire Free.

A lightning fire is exactly what it sounds like, the earth at odds with itself, burning itself to the ground and starting from scratch. On this, her debut LP, Shana Falana makes a point of breaking her own rules. “I’ve always kept the different sides of my music separate. The ambient ballads, the fuzzed out stuff, they all needed to exist as their own statements,” says Falana. “I would have two or three bands at one time: a sludge rock band; a Bulgarian women’s choir; a pretty, dreamy organ and guitar duo. This is the first record where I’ve combined all of that, sometimes in the course of one song.”

Rather than spending months in the studio, laboring over arrangements and fussing over takes, Falana ripped out SYLFF in just over a week. The songs were already compact and fully realized from years of touring. Recorded at ISOKON studios in upstate New York with producer Dan Goodwin (Devo, Kaki King), SYLFF’s working mantra was a) get the idea down b) move on c) don’t look back. Shana chose to record the vocals herself alone in various locations, everywhere from her bathroom to a little girl’s bedroom. And for the first time, Shana wrote and performed her own lead guitar parts.

The result is a record of stark confidence. Muscular guitar riffs and thundering drums prevail, while Shana’s two decades of songwriting and performing lend authority and emotion to one or two word refrains like “Gone,” “Go,” and “There’s a Way.” “Anything,” with its Bollywood strings and industrial groove, climaxes with repeated shouts of “No, you didn’t take anything from me!” in a way that would make James Murphy sweat. Lead single “Heavenstay” takes the lilting “higher, higher, higher” refrain of In The Light’s “Light The Fire” and absolutely soars with the most explosive chorus of the LP. Day-Glo guitars are smeared across this record, along with Falana’s veritable army of vocals stacked and vibrating with her eastern European influences.

The other noticeable difference is the addition of steady drummer and creative companion, Mike Amari. The two met at a garden party Shana was playing, bonding over a love for Bauhaus. A few weeks later they were on their first date at a Bright Eyes concert (which Nate from Team Love invited them to), and soon after they were setting up to play together for the first time in an abandoned theater in Kingston, NY. Mike’s minimalistic and tribal approach to drumming was a perfect fit with Shana’s droning dream pop, and within six months they were heading out on their first national tour.