Anxiety is a mental health issue that can make you feel very vulnerable. When you feel this fragile, it can be hard to talk about to your loved ones or anyone who hasn’t experienced it. Victoria, BC-based alt.rockers Shale captures the rawness of anxiety in their new single “Shake”, along with new British Columbia dates below. Check it out on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syNpwC9awOg
The song opens with strong riffs from guitarist Adam Baines before vocalist Kiarra O’Connor comes in with haunting vocals that are reminiscent of ‘90s female vocalists such as Tori Amos and Alanis Morrisette. The first verse demonstrates how sensitive people with anxiety feel, physically and emotionally.
I’m shaky babe
Don’t touch me there
Don’t feel my pain
Rather waste my day
The vulnerability in the first verse is heightened by the chorus, which implies that they don’t want to admit that they are hurting. They feel stuck, because they want to give up the facade of being okay but they also don’t want to hurt more.
Yet the next two verses seem to show an internal battle of being torn between staying stuck, giving up, and hoping for something better. The contrast is demonstrated by O’ Connor’s soft bleak sounding vocals in the second verse that grow braver by the third verse. These verses are given an even greater emotional impact with a brief guitar solo that follows.
In fact, the band confirms the song is about anxiety, specifically O’ Connor’s experiences. “The song tackles emotional overload and anxiety from my first year at university. The song digs deep into the emotional tapestry of overwhelm vs commitment, giving up vs pushing through.”
Without firsthand experience with anxiety or knowing the story behind this song, one might think it was about a break up. Given that first year university stress is a subject rarely explored in songs, this particular track shines especially bright.
Finally, a notable feature about this track is that it was mixed by Darrell Thorp and mastered by Brian Lucey. Thorp is known for his work on The Foo Fighters recent album, while Lucey is known for his work with the bands The Black Keys and Cage The Elephant.
Listen on Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/track/3LuGAa5whfoHcwcf7AaLks?si=8b0b258837984ab7&nd=1
Shale formed in 2019 when drummer Michael Voytash and keyboardist Rowan Hensley served as theater technicians at Edward Milne Community School for a production of Grease and saw O’Connor’s leading lady performance of Sandy.
After recording their first EP Wither, they released their first single “To The Ground” in 2022. It would be streamed more than 4,000 times in five days. They would soon follow that with three more singles, “Get Lost”, “Held Up’, and “Wither”. The single “Get Lost” would be accompanied by a black and red music video that serves to heighten the somber and bittersweet mood.
Only one year after the release of their debut EP “Wither”, they have made a global impression, streaming to fans in over 60 countries and racking up over 40,000 streams. Now, the cathartic moodiness from Wither has carried over to their most recent single “Shake”, which signals the band’s newfound hope.
Shale Canadian Dates:
July 2: Laketown Shakedown, Lake Cowichan, BC
July 13: Upstairs Cabaret, Victoria BC, with Base Collective & Sarah Osborne
July 15: 39 Days of July Festival in Duncan, BC
July 16: FiLoMi Days Festival in Port Hardy, BC
July 21: Capital Ballroom, Victoria BC, with Quadra Sound
July 22: Sookapalooza Festival, Sooke BC
August 5: Harmony Arts Festival, Vancouver BC
August 24 – Sept 2: BC tour with Cold Fame:
● August 24 – Fox Cabaret, Vancouver BC
● August 25 – TBD, Kelowna or Kamloops BC
● August 26 – Riot on the Roof Festival, Vernon BC
● August 27 – Mountainview Brewing, Hope BC
● August 29 – The Maq Pub, Tofino BC
● August 30 – The Terminal, Nanaimo BC
● August 31 – Rainbow Room, Port Alberni BC
● September 1 – Lucky Bar, Victoria BC
● September 2 – Sooke Music Festival, Sooke BC