I like gut-wrenching songs about heartbreak and whiskey-induced mistakes, sung by a guy with a rough-hewn voice as much as anyone but sometimes there’s a need for a change of pace. Maggie Bjorklund’s excellent new record, Shaken, is exactly the change of pace I need from time to time.
Bjorklund takes familiar instruments like guitar, bass, drums and pedal steel and adds a cello and hints of production to create music that is left field of our traditional fare but with enough sonic similarities that falling into the dream-like expanse of Shaken is easy. Shaken is Bjorklund’s second release from the fine folks at Bloodshot Records and after digesting this release I look forward to checking out the first one.
I’ve played “Bottom of the Well” on the radio a time or two and it’s a great song that should appeal to most Nine Bullets readers, but many of my favorite moments here are the instrumentals. There are a handful of them and they really set the mood well and enhance the songs with vocals. Is it coincidence that this record is being released so close to Halloween? I don’t know, but there is without a doubt a haunted feel throughout Shaken that elevates the listening experience for me.
Lambchop fans will want to know that Kurt Wagner duets on one song on Shaken.