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City Morning Song

Sarah Shannon

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Album Review

Former Velocity Girl singer Sarah Shannon picks up her sporadic solo career with her second full-length. A huge improvement over 2002's spotty self-titled effort, City Morning Song is easily Shannon's most appealing record since Velocity Girl's Copacetic nearly a decade and a half before. The richly textured arrangements include strings and Burt Bacharach-style touches like muted trumpets and the major-seventh piano chords on the sweet and creamy ballad closer, "All We Will Be," but for all of the deliberate echoes of great, mature pop records of the past (Tapestry, Dusty in Memphis, Fleetwood Mac), this is no mere retro affair, nor is it loungey kitsch. Shannon is a technically better singer now than she was during VG's ultra-indie early days, and her lyrical concerns are more mature as well; even the one song that sounds like it could have appeared on a Velocity Girl record, the urgent and guitar-driven "Watch Over You," sounds more like the musings of a mother than a girlfriend. City Morning Song is a delightful record with a carefully detailed sound that feels like it took most of the five years since Shannon's last album, but with the crisp poppy immediacy of Velocity Girl's greatest singles. It could well be her best album ever.


Born: 07 October 1969 in Washington D.C.

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Washington, D.C.-based indie pop singer Sarah Shannon was the lead singer and focal point for Velocity Girl, whose three early-'90s albums, Copacetic, Simpatico, and Gilded Stars and Zealous Hearts, reworked the British shoegazer aesthetic into a distinctly original form. When that band split in 1996, Shannon formed the short-lived Starry Eyes, who broke up after releasing a single EP in 1997. Shannon then embarked on a low-key solo career, releasing the EP Estheraho on her own Marzipan label in...
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City Morning Song, Sarah Shannon
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