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Shannon Wright


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<“When I think about this record, I think about that Bob Dylan song “Sara”. He always wrote cryptic and poetic lyrics, but on the song “Sara,” it’s just plain and to the point. He’s got nothing to hide behind, and you can hear the humanity in his voice – the triumph of living, the loneliness, eagerness, and all that’s in between – not the rational or the stagnant. I feel that this record is just that.” – Shannon Wright

You might be tempted to compare Shannon Wright to whatever ingénue’s tearing up the internet at the moment or some other gal with a guitar and something to say. That’s missing the point, though. After four solo records on Quarterstick, as well as her earlier work with Florida’s Crowsdell, Shannon’s been around the block a few times, each time growing stronger and more sincere, and that’s what makes her different. She takes the clarity and artistic sensibility of Lou Reed, mixes them with the subdued simplicity of Erik Satie and the explosive abilities of Jimmy Page, and emerges as her own artist.

Shannon’s tried to quit making music before, but it keeps dragging her back, overwhelming her with the sense that, without music, she isn’t herself anymore. It’s visceral. There’s nothing without it. Her music stands on mature legs, well-grounded but resisting exhaustion. Each record has further emancipated her from buzz-worthy tropes and tired musical gimmickry.

With each stanza, she seems to get stronger, to become increasingly sure of herself, and of her message. Let in the Light is for grey skies and quiet moments, for furtive emotions and uncompromising catharsis. The songs are coming from a truly honest place.
Let in the Light opens gingerly to the rhythm of “Defy this Love” carrying with it touches of Bohemian folk. “Steadfast and True,” inspired by Shannon’s work with the amazing Yann Tiersen, would most aptly careen through Paris behind Amélie Poulain on her way to perform another inspired act of kindness. Album closer “Everyone’s Got Their Own Part to Play” rambles through sway and sing along territory, rousting you to click back to track one and start all over again.

With production by Andy Baker (also of Dyed in the Wool [2001] and Maps of Tacit [2000]) and Kyle Crabtree (Shipping News) handling the drum kit, Let in the Light is the culmination of three years of work for Shannon. With the exception of the drums and bass, she plays all the instruments on this album. On Over the Sun, Shannon was focused on blending and creating new guitar sounds, challenging herself to play differently than she’d ever heard before. This time, and more than on any of her previous records, she focused on the piano – an instrument on which she’s completely self-taught. With Let in the Light, Shannon finally lets herself go and allows the time and emotional space to create the record she really wanted to make. It’s earnest and sympathetic, open and vulnerable. It’s her most revealing work yet.

Her live shows have been hailed as emotionally charged, unbridled and intense, and she brings all that to Let in the Light. For that time, Shannon believes that it’s as if all the people in the room are sharing the same emotions, reveling themselves to each other, and living completely without hindrance. Her performance at this year’s All Tomorrow’s Parties, curated by label mates Dirty Three, as well as a potential tour in support of Let in the Light, will allow fans to make that connection once again.

Shannon’s laid it all bare on this record, and yet keeps everything secret. Her music is her vision, but once it’s released into the world, it becomes yours; colored by everything a listener brings to it. “I feel that music is supposed to remain a mystery,” she says. “Most music that I hold dear, I don’t want to hear the writer talk about. I prefer music to become my own vision once I hear it, not the songwriters. That’s how it becomes dear to a person.” On Let in the Light, she’s got a deep fire burning, something she’s been cultivating with each new album, and it’s not about to go out. With each listen, it’ll spark something in you.