The Dirty Shed,” celebrate release at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Feb 18th
Brooklyn Vegan premiered the full stream of The Shivers’ forthcoming album Grey Romantic, out on Valentine’s Day with a release show at Music Hall of Williamsburg on February 18th. Pancakes and Whiskey just premiered the music video for “hauntingly beautiful” album track “The Dirty Shed” — stream and share the full album here and the music video here.
“rooted in folk rock…hints of synthpop, soul, and more” – Brooklyn Vegan
“Keith Zarriello’s voice carries an eerie, mesmerizing eroticism.” – Pitchfork
“by the time you reach the second verse, you want to move in” – The Guardian
“‘Beauty’ has since become one of our favorite songs of all time.” – Gorilla vs Bear
“He is, no bullshit, one of the best songwriters working today.” – The Awl
“once he starts singing, you’re with him until the end.” – Pancakes & Whiskey
Grey Romantic is not the first album that The Shivers have dropped on Valentine’s Day. Honestly, they all could have. NYC singer-songwriter Keith Zarriello, backed by his rotating cast of friends and fellow musicians, has a deep catalogue of material exploring love and loss from ever sharper angles. 2015’s Forever Is A Word also saw a Valentine’s unveiling, but any of The Shivers more than half a dozen full-lengths could have born witness to the day as love letters either to stuff into bottles and hurl into the sea or to light as kindling and burn it all down.
Judging from the reaction to The Shivers’ earliest breakout single, 2004’s “Beauty” — which was the impetus for the band’s cult following of people like Aaron Paul, Daniel Radcliffe, Rose McIver, Tessa Thompson and bands like Deer Tick and Foster the People — Zarriello is impressively skilled at describing love.
Grey Romantic is the latest proof that he’s equally capable of depicting love’s aftermath and charred wreckage, as the album leans heavily to the heartbroken side. The Guardian’s Laura Barton testified to The Shivers’ already deft ability to capture the pain, as she remarked on the 2011 album More, “It’s a breakup album, a song cycle of sorts, that moves through the collapse of a relationship and on to regret, defiance, the hope of reunion and, finally, resignation…It’s a mainstay of my record collection.”
Grey Romantic, true to form, is a frank and beautiful record on isolation, brutal and honest. Zarriello revealed about the album, “It’s all about human loneliness. I like the term cosmic loneliness.“ Zarriello’s output cycles through searing love and cold loneliness, mirroring life’s familiar pattern. He explained last year in an interview with Motif RI, “My songs are divided up into albums, but I guess I tend to look at the whole body of work as one unbroken line.”
The Scotsman noted as much in 2011: “A particularly interesting part of his songwriting is that he carries lyric and melodic motifs across songs and even entire albums…Mining the pain of isolation and lost love for art isn’t a new concept, but Zarriello has been finding new ways to explore it for over a decade.”
The Shivers’ forthcoming full-length Grey Romantic is due out on February 14th. Its creation, as the story goes, started in November of 2015 when Keith Zarriello left Queens after years in NYC real estate, disillusioned and reeling from a breakup, packed some recording equipment and personal belongings into a rented cargo van and drove 2500 miles to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico to a small shack where he lived and wrote the bulk of Grey Romantic in isolation.
The album was then recorded first in an old warehouse in Downtown L.A. across the hallway from studio space that belonged to The Velvet Underground’s John Cale, and later re-recorded in an old converted cabin in the Catskill Mountains.
Grey Romantic is The Shivers’ latest exhibit of what it means to be human, and this Valentine’s Day, Zarriello will give us one more way to feel it. To experience his isolation exegesis in a crowd, Zarriello invites fans to The Shivers’ album release show at Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, NY on Saturday, February 18th.
In spite of inevitable heartbreak, in an email to fans, Zarriello knows there is reason to celebrate, “Twenty years ago, at the tender age of 16, I played my first gig in NYC at the legendary CBGB’s. We got ice thrown at us. Now 20 years later, I’ve finally landed a legit gig. It’s at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on a Saturday night and The Shivers are the headliner.”
The Shivers – Grey Romantic album release show
Saturday, February 18th
Music Hall of Williamsburg
66 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211 / (718) 486-5400
with Belle Mare, Ashni, Ben Talmi
7pm / 18+ / $15
Music Video: The Shivers – “The Dirty Shed”
Album stream: The Shivers – Grey Romantic
The music video for “The Dirty Shed” is directed by L.A. filmmaker Tara Violet Niami, who has worked as a staff photographer for Rookie Magazine and is currently a cinematography fellow at the American Film Institute. The music video, shot in the California desert, depicts a desolate landscape: the gutted shell of a shed, the rusted hull of a car and lots of loose ground, as a backdrop for Zarriello’s torment. Niami said in a fundraising message about the preparation for the shoot:
This gorgeous song tells the story of the taboo subject of childhood sexual assault and it is a testament to overcoming trauma. We want to make a powerful video set in a location of abandonment, that interprets this act as a loss of innocence through poetic imagery…This video will make a statement to survivors of childhood abuse and sexual assault survivors. It will open up a conversation to the impact such events have on a person.
As songwriter Keith Zarriello explained about the single, “The song is probably the most personal song I’ve ever written and not particularly easy to sing, but for all victims of sexual abuse, I want to take the punches (even if they are from my own fist!)”
GREY ROMANTIC TRACK LISTING:
02 The Dirty Shed
03 Pink Colombo
04 Heaven’s Cryin’
05 Gray Romance
06 In My Dreams
08 I Swear To God