Music

Shook Twins and Gregory Alan Isakov "Figure It Out" on New Single (premiere)

Jedd Beaudoin
Photo: Jessie McCall / Courtesy of Girlie Action

Gregory Alan Isakov joins the Shook Twins for their new single "Figure It Out" from Some Good Lives, the sisters' wide-ranging fourth LP, which focuses on the impact others have in our own lives.

On Some Good Lives, the fourth album from identical twins Katelyn Shook (vocals, guitar) and Laurie Shook (banjo, vocals), the siblings write about everyone from their late grandfather to Bernie Sanders. They also found time to team up with Gregory Alan Isakov on piano, electric guitar, synths, and ambient textures.

The Shook Twins' close harmonies are the true stars of a song that recalls the hippie folk of the late 1960s (Gram Parsons, Flying Burrito Brothers) but which ultimately retains a contemporary feel, landing somewhere between the haunting sweetness of the Chapin Sisters and the haunting theatricality of Slim Cessna's Auto Club.

"That one's a feeling song," says Katelyn Shook. "One of those kinds where a string of lyrics present themselves to you and they each make you feel something so you grab them. Once they're all together you take a step back and you look at the song from afar. Then you finally see what that feeling is; it's a song about feeling lost. And all the lines are looking at that feeling from different angles until you get a better picture in your head for what 'lost' looks like. Our friend Gregory added his expertise and 'god noise' to this track, which really tied the room together."

Her sister adds, "This song strung itself together gradually. One that doesn't start with an idea or concept, but unfolds as the lines fall out one at a time. It has a wintery loneliness to it. To me it's about integrity, and a willingness to let yourself continuously learn, even if it's learning the same things over and over. We don't always 'figure it out' the first time so we must allow ourselves to 'Figure it out again some more.'"

Recorded at Portland, Oregon's Hallowed Halls, Laurie Shook then traveled to Colorado where she and Isakov added elements of texture and ambience. She says, "He has such an amazing way of creating emotional soundscapes. It was fun to try my hand at engineering as he showed me how to move the noises around until they made sense and sounded right, then Niko [Slice, bass] helped hone it in even more. This was a really collaborative song."

TOUR DATES

2/13 - Garden City, ID - Visual Arts Collective

2/14 - Hailey, ID - The Mint

2/15 - Missoula, MT - The Wilma (w/ The Infamous Stringdusters)

2/16 - Salt Lake City, UT - The Commonwealth Room (w/ The Infamous Stringdusters)

2/20 - Sante Fe, NM - Meow Wolf (w/ The Infamous Stringdusters)

2/22 - Aspen, CO - Belly Up Aspen (w/ The Infamous Stringdusters)

2/23-2/24 - Steamboat Springs, CO - WinterWonderGrass

2/25 - eTown Hall (Radio Show) - Boulder, CO

2/27 - Los Angeles, CA - The Moroccan Lounge (w/ Rainbow Girls)

2/28 - Santa Barbara, CA - Soho Restaurant & Music Club (w/ Rainbow Girls)

3/1 - Morro Bay, CA - The Siren (w/ Rainbow Girls)

3/2 - Berkeley, CA - Cornerstone

3/3 - Petaluma, CA - Mystic Theatre (w/ Rainbow Girls)

3/4 - Arcata, CA - Humboldt Brews

3/29 - Eugene, OR - Hull Center for the Performing Arts (Soreng Theater)

3/30 - Ashland, OR - Historic Ashland Armory

4/6 - Portland, OR - Revolution Hall

4/11 - Seattle, WA - The Crocodile

4/12 - Bellingham, WA - Wild Buffalo House of Music

4/13 - Vashon, WA - Open Space for Arts and Community

7/18 - North Plains, OR - Northwest String Summit

Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2018 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.