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

Music


Books


Film


Recent
Books

Cordelia Strube's 'Misconduct of the Heart' Palpitates with Dysfunction

Cordelia Strube's 11th novel, Misconduct of the Heart, depicts trauma survivors in a form that's compelling but difficult to digest.

Music

Reaching For the Vibe: Sonic Boom Fears for the Planet on 'All Things Being Equal'

Sonic Boom is Peter Kember, a veteran of 1980s indie space rockers Spacemen 3, as well as Spectrum, E.A.R., and a whole bunch of other fascinating stuff. On his first solo album in 30 years, he urges us all to take our foot off the gas pedal.

Film

Old British Films, Boring? Pshaw!

The passage of time tends to make old films more interesting, such as these seven films of the late '40s and '50s from British directors John Boulting, Carol Reed, David Lean, Anthony Kimmins, Charles Frend, Guy Hamilton, and Leslie Norman.

Music

Inventions' 'Continuous Portrait' Blurs the Grandiose and the Intimate

Explosions in the Sky and Eluvium side project, Inventions are best when they are navigating the distinction between modes in real-time on Continuous Portrait.

Music

Willie Jones Blends Country-Trap With Classic Banjo-Picking on "Trainwreck" (premiere)

Country artist Willie Jones' "Trainwreck" is an accessible summertime breakup tune that coolly meshes elements of the genre's past, present, and future.

Music

2011's 'A Different Compilation' and 2014 Album 'The Way' Are a Fitting Full Stop to Buzzcocks Past

In the conclusion of our survey of the post-reformation career of Buzzcocks, PopMatters looks at the final two discs of Cherry Red Records' comprehensive retrospective box-set.

Music

Elysia Crampton Creates an Unsettlingly Immersive Experience with ​'Ocorara 2010'

On Ocorara 2010, producer Elysia Crampton blends deeply meditative drones with "misreadings" of Latinx poets such as Jaime Saenz and Juan Roman Jimenez

Music

Indie Folk's Mt. Joy Believe That Love Will 'Rearrange Us'

Through vibrant imagery and inventive musicality, Rearrange Us showcases Americana band Mt. Joy's growth as individuals and musicians.

Music

"Without Us? There's No Music": An Interview With Raul Midón

Raul Midón discusses the fate of the art in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. "This is going to shake things up in ways that could be very positive. Especially for artists," he says.

Music

The Fall Go Transatlantic with 'Reformation! Post-TLC'

The Fall's Reformation! Post-TLC, originally released in 2007, teams Mark E. Smith with an almost all-American band, who he subsequently fired after a few months, leaving just one record and a few questions behind.

Film

Masaki Kobayashi's 'Kwaidan' Horror Films Are Horrifically Beautiful

The four haunting tales of Masaki Kobayashi's Kwaidan are human and relatable, as well as impressive at a formal and a technical level.

Film

The Top 10 Thought-Provoking Science Fiction Films

Serious science fiction often takes a backseat to the more pulpy, crowdpleasing genre entries. Here are 10 titles far better than any "dogfight in space" adventure.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.