The Shivers
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The Shivers

Long Island City, New York, United States | SELF

Long Island City, New York, United States | SELF
Band Folk Rock


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This is a quick post as I don’t have too much to say, and would really rather you just get to listening to this soul-crushing song, ‘Beauty’ however dated it may be. My friend Kenny introduced me to the Shivers, but I can’t remember how or why other than some apparent affiliation with Peter and the Wolf (a friend of Kenny’s who is about to embark on an interesting musical project with him this summer). Via skype, he played the song, ‘Beauty’, one of those timeless Leonard Cohen kind of songs that cuts you deep. Without further adieu, I introduce to you, The Shivers. New album Sunset Psalms out July 6th. - Friends With Both Arms

Oh man, where the hell have these guys been all my life? Some kind of modern bluesy reincarnate of Lou Reed, with all the swagger you could hope for, bottled up into something called The Shivers? Why yes, you DO give me shivers, of awesomeness! I could almost see these guys setting up in an old abandoned church down in New Orleans, testifying their sweatiness for the few down-trodden parishioners that happen to wander by….. now THAT’S a revival I could believe in!

Open your hymnals to page 132 and enjoy! -

The Shivers are a New York outfit I was introduced to by an associate of this blog, Brian Rowe. The band is currently recording a new album, and their frontman Keith Zarriello recently released a solo effort: Truants From Life. That album’s currently being offered via donation.
The album above, unfortunately, has not been officially released–and it probably never will be. Right now, it’s a Shivers LP that sits in limbo, but it’s somehow made it onto file-sharing sites and blogs around the Internet. Some of the songs on it are pretty stunning, bringing the longing and despair that’s always been presents in the Shivers’ music to a new high. Not many moments on Sunset Palms get sadder than the one below. Brace yourself for an emotional impact:
Stream: The Shivers- Love You Like a Dog
- The Needle Drop

NYC's The Shivers have finally released their highly anticipated (by some, including us) new LP, Phone Calls. This track is almost more a painfully short interlude than a full-fledged song, but its resonance can't be denied. A friend of mine, who happens to be a big Devendra Banhart fan, commented that on "The Road," the Shivers' Keith Zarriello sounds like "Devendra, if he had more soul." Much like "Beauty", this song's simple production and emotional complexity recall the recordings of early American folk and soul artists who never hoped for success, instead focusing on the cathartic release of raw emotion. -

“Keith Zarriello’s voice carries an eerie, mesmerizing eroticism” – Jessica Suarez,
Pitchfork Media -

There were many hindrances. The 18' by 18' room, the mini stage that just fit the grand piano, leaving the drums on the floor; the folks "just trying to get through," the peep-show reminiscent red light above their heads, the nine dollar rail whiskey. Through all these obstacles, including the strict 45 minute set restrictions implemented by the Rockwood Music Hall, The Shivers valiantly and deftly jumped through the hoops.

The duo opened with a guitar and piano only version of "Love is in the Air," a track off frontman/songwriter/master-dancer Keith Zarriello's debut solo album, Truants From Life. With Jo's piano taking the melody, Zarriello slowly and methodically sang the first verse, but at the songs climax "love doesn't care, if you prance around in your underwear, in your underwear, you're in your underwear," his face was riddled with emotion, excitement and a undisclosed manic glee that stayed hidden on his face throughout the show. Including one song on her own, Jo's thunderous piano exists as the structure of each song played, teaming in perfect harmony with Keith's sharp yet minimal guitar picks, and the occasional marching band drumbeat.

I can't tell you the rest of the set list, I can't tell you how many songs they played, all I had written on my hand at the end of the show was "LIITA," detailing the opener. It wasn't that I necessarily forgot to write as the show went along, it was that I couldn't bring myself to do anything but stare. Enthralling, rapturous, magnetic, these words don't make the cut in my memory. I remember his face, I remember her face, I remember their cues to each other, I remember hearing the bartender telling people to "wait a minute," because she couldn't stop watching either.

There are so many musical references you can tally up when describing The Shivers' sound (The Velvet Underground being the biggie), but they transfer so well between all their influences that it creates something only them, making a list pointless. If I must create a profile for your imagination, think the intensity of Mick Jagger, the emotional outbursts of Mark Hollis, and all wrapped up in a similarly-sporadic David Byrne. It's just so damn entertaining; and these are not happy songs! This is (apparently) not a happy man, and he's letting you know this, which becomes extremely admirable as you witness his disappointment manifest on stage.

And while contained in each song may lie a story of unrequited love, depression or hatred, the path one travels through a Shivers live show is not one of heartbreak, but one where you take desperate stabs at trying to attain that eternal glee disguised on the face of the performer; and at least this audience member was ecstatic to be allowed that attempt.

The Shivers are: Keith Zarriello and Jo Schornikow; they are taking a hiatus from New York City, Zarriello stating, "I forgot there were places with…trees. I gotta get out of the city for a while.”
- Obsession Collection Music

'Certain songs can seem like home the first time you hear them. When you reach the second verse, you want to kiss them'

Last Friday afternoon found me sitting on the floor of a converted mobile library in Haggerston park, listening to a talk by Dan Kieran, deputy editor of the Idler and author or editor of several books, including Crap Towns, Three Men in a Float, and Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Why Men Love Things That Go.

On this occasion, however, Kieran's talk was called How to Live in an Immeasurable World, and more particularly, he was talking about something called Spielzeug. For our German readers, that might well seem to reference a popular toy manufacturer (the literal translation, after all, is "plaything"), but for Kieran it is a word that describes an immeasurable feeling of rightness.

He used as an example a recent experience of househunting, when he and his wife went to view a house that fulfilled absolutely none of their logical criteria for what they wanted in a home, and yet which they knew to be the right place for them. The place, he explained, had spielzeug. It is, he continued, a feeling that can be applied to a piece of furniture, a guitar, to anything; it was the reason why he found the courage to first kiss the woman he would marry. And it is also, he mentioned in passing, a feeling that can apply to a piece of music.

I liked that idea. It seemed to explain the way that certain songs can seem like home the very first time you hear them. The way that by the time you reach the second verse, you want to move in and live between their walls, you want to kiss them until they agree to marry you.

I had that very day been gifted such a track – a song named Beauty, which appeared on the Shivers' debut album Charades, released in the autumn of 2004. I know very little about the Shivers, save that they hail from New York City, and are fronted by Keith Zarriello, who released the rather wonderful solo record Truants From Life, earlier this year. And yet almost with the opening notes, I knew that this song had spielzeug. I stood in my kitchen and stared at my laptop in a kind of stock-still awe. "I live off love, I feed off love, I breathe off love," it began, Zarriello's voice a dirty, wiry, beautiful thing. "I think of love, I drink of love, I sink in love."

Beauty is essentially a portrait of how it feels to be in love, an all-consuming, all-engulfing love. Against the sparsest of guitars, Zarriello draws out its territory, spans its circumference and its strength. "I need to grieve and need to need and be in love," he sings. "I give my love and all my love to you my love."

This attempt to define a thing as gloriously intangible as love seems to me to chime with Kieran's talk of the Immeasurable World. There is no logic to it, no reason to be applied, but the rightness of, its sense of spielzeug, is impossible to ignore.

And so Zarriello paints love's enormity: deep enough to sink in, to feed and water us, to fill our lungs and our minds, a beast, a thing that conjures desire and brings us grief, and that is there, too, to be given, to be presented whole to another person. He measures this love against time and possession: "I swear to God I'm loving you for life," he sings. "I swear to God I'm making you my wife." And in the end, concludes in the repetition of a single line, defining love by absence: "Beauty beauty beauty, there's nobody near me/ There never was."

And in this repetition, this circularity, there is a sense of completeness that says every bit as much about love as Zariello's attempts to set down its measurements. Similarly, throughout the song the constant return to the word "love" – frequently rhyming with itself, brings a sense of perfection; a feeling that there is nothing that can match love, nothing that can measure up to it, but love itself.

- The Guardian UK


"CHARADES" (2004)

Yes, we have tracks that have streaming or radio airplay



Formed in 2001, NYC's The Shivers have been quietly making great albums and touring below the mainstream radar for almost a decade.

The Shivers is Keith Zarriello (guitar/vox/beats), Jo Schornikow (keys/vox) and occasionally others.

In 2010, they recorded a new album in Manchester, England, toured the UK (with Fence records), and toured the US with Kelli Scarr (Moby).

Despite receiving growing recognition from sources such as Pitchfork (rated song 'Beauty' 4.5 stars, Dec '08) and The Guardian UK (lead singer Keith Zarriello 'paints loves enormity', July '10) and The Deli NYC ('NYC's best rock band' July '10), they continue to struggle in the NYC underground.

This will change.

2011 holds great things. The Shivers are supporting Deer Tick in January, releasing a new album in the spring on label 'Silence Breaks', and are touring the US and Europe.

Weird Hero from The Progress Film Company on Vimeo.