Sarah Shannon Sarah Shannon

Recovering indie rocker Sarah Shannon, former singer of Velocity Girl, hasn’t gone country like so many of her peers, but instead tackles the big brassy pop sound of the swinging ’60s on her solo debut. It’s the ideal medium for showcasing her striking alto voice, more akin to Julie Andrews than any of Shannon’s former SubPop label-mates. She swings, swaggers and soars her way over Rhodes riffs, Hal Blaine-ish drums and punchy horn arrangements, all of which decorate vintage pop songs penned by Shannon and her producer/co-writer Blake Wescott, making you want to shake your own tambourine. The parlour recital feel of "When You Live Life Alone" is a classy, classical and convincing move that even your grandma would love. And did I already mention what a knockout singer she is? There’s only one track reminiscent of her jangly past ("Are You Far Enough"), a history that this dynamite debut renders rather moot. (Casa)