EP Review: Shannon Entropy - The Tamale EP
In the modern music business, artists have many ways to introduce themselves to the world. We have social media, YouTube, Bandcamp, and a ton of other tools to make your project visible. Call me old school, but the tried-and-true EP is the best thing a band could do to create buzz. An EP should be a taste of what a band has to offer, and in this case, I'm going to order more Tamales!
The Tamale EP was released in February of this year and it's still in rotation on my phone’s playlist. Shannon Entropy is a collection of diverse and immensely talented musicians. The first two tracks on the EP, “Caves” and “Pimpilla”, feature local artist Tamsyn. Originally, she had plans to work with the band but is now working on a few other projects. Lead singer and keys player David Hickey sings a haunting melody on “Caves” that creates an ambient blanket up against the intimate vocals of Tamsyn. With this first track, the band is introducing listeners to their blend of Alt-Indie and psychedelic electronic rock. The track “Pimpilla” is a journey in dynamics and constantly gives your ears something to enjoy. The intro is a cool blend of open drums, atmospheric guitar, and layers of synth. Around one minute and fifty seconds into the track, drummer Kevin Wilbanks pushes the song with a driving beat and some fantastic work on the hi hat. All of the songs on this EP are well thought out and you can tell the band spent a lot of time working on the tones and sound of this recording.
When I first heard the EP I reached out to the band to join me on my weekly show on Portland Radio Project. During our interview, guitarist Libby Hamlin explained that they wanted their EP to have a vibe like local favorites Radiation City. After reaching out to Radiation City on social media, one of their members, Cameron Spies contacted the group. They had a few conversations and Cameron ended up recording and producing the EP. I am a huge fan of the sonic choices on this album and it really gives the band a voice of their own. Jesse Hamlin adds more than just his guitar work on the EP, he is also credited with creating and playing samples. As a musician I really enjoy listening to the EP with headphones on. I feel it's here that you can best appreciate all that Jesse, Libby, and David are doing on keys and guitars. They sound as if their parts are having a conversation and there is plenty to try and pick out. Bassist Roman Buermann has some captivating bass work on the single “Janky Leg”, where he displays his proficiency and timing. He and Kevin are such a great rhythm section and keep things changing and interesting in a way that compliments the melodic range on the record.
For fans of smart independent rock, spend some time with "The Tamale EP" and I'm confident you will become fan. I love this EP and can't wait to see what they have in store for us next! Shannon Entropy is headed into the studio this fall to record their full length debut at The Hallowed Halls. I hope to see you at their upcoming shows listed below.
Shannon Entropy Live:
July 30th at The Leake
August 14th at The Smart Collective