Jan 24, 2024

Hearing these demos takes me back to the heady times of the indie rock chanteuse in the mid-to-late ’90s, when, along with Rose Melberg, Amelia Fletcher, and Lois Maffeo, Sarah Shannon sat atop the heap. Shannon’s old band, Velocity Girl, was a personal favorite. Her vocals, floating above the alternative rock experimentation of the rest of the band, could go from ethereal to powerful in the span of a heartbeat, but were often buried in the mix. On the six songs here, Shannon’s voice is up front in the mix where it should be. Recorded in 1998 with help from members of Gray Matter and Jawbox, the tunes range in style from grungy power pop to bouncy alternapop to dreamy indie pop (that’s a lotta pop!) and are more straightforward than some of structurally complex songs found on Velocity Girl releases. Had it been released contemporaneously, Demo 98 would have been a harbinger of what to expect on Shannon’s solo records—an assured artist with a specific vision making great pop records. If you’re a Sarah Shannon fan, this is a must-have. –Josh Benke (Snappy Little Numbers,

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