After 8 years in the making, Shannon Hawley’s second full-length album “Starthrower” has come out to the light, packed to the brim with real-life emotional journeys, hardships, and acceptance…Shannon puts out an extremely emotionally dense album.
Shanon did not just craft 10 songs…she went miles beyond and created a personal essay to go with each song…to tell us the stories.
Themes of the song and the essays revolve around hardships of caretaking, women’s struggles, and survival in a harsh and unappreciative world.
Shannon Hawley comes all the way from New Jersey, USA with a unique sound to share with the world, a sound that doesn’t just fall in a simple category…every aspect of her songwriting and music has been taken very emotionally, the lyrics, the music, the vocal performance, the production…the essays that go with each song….no wonder this album took 8 years in the making.
Shannon also collaborated with the well-established music producer Hector Gundlach (aka NekterGun) to get this album out and into the world…he even sang on a track in the album.
The album came out on the 24th of March, packing 10 tracks of emotional explosiveness…and I would like to take you on a journey through the album…
…starting with “Starthrowers”, the album title song.
The song has country, indie, pop and rock moods to it…the vocal performance along with these fused moods create a very special feel inside of the listeners, specially that near the end of the song it starts rocking out a little…it serves as a very artistic gateway to the rest of the album…
…taking us to the next track “Our History”…
This one starts out with a very cozy-sounding acoustic guitar, only to be blasted with synth arpeggios…the track is unique as you can see with mixes between acoustic and electric…analog and digital…cozy and huge…
…speaking of huge, the following track is “Mercy”, which has Shannon and Hector both perform amazing vocal performances on this track.
The track is explosive in the sense of buildup, raw energy of the music and the vocal performances of course.
This track sounds huge…
…from the huge-sounding last track and into the next one “Bones, Blood, Saltwater and Song”…
The first thing that caught my attention is how cinematic the song title is.
When listening to the song also you’ll get that cinematic feeling…in two ways actually.
One would be how fitting this song would be in a movie scene with the protagonist rising up to the challenge and making the best out of a tough point in life.
…the second is that this song in itself has a very cinematic approach that will engulf anyone who listens to it.
…jumping right into the next song, you’ll actually start jumping when you put this next song on…” Lights in Holland”.
With a completely different musical energy to it than anything before, “Light in Holland” has a more punk rock attitude to it…but with the emotional energy that Shannon basks in…and some hints of a more mellow feeling sprinkled right in with ukulele sounds.
…from that high energy peak that we just experienced, we take a bit of a jump from the top of a punk rock mountain and into a big jazz band river with “Riverine”.
Shannon’s performance changes completely as if she’s another person, it feels like she’s not only singing, but she’s acting the whole song out as if she’s acting in a movie…
The song is reminiscent of oldies songs and nails the mood perfectly.
…I’d say with the following song “Aunt Honey”…Shannon and Hector went into a very personal territory..music, production and vocal performance wise.
The song has a very unique thing going on…in the verses, there’s a slow down then speeding up in the performance and it happens between all the instruments and the vocals…it feels very unique and I don’t think I’ve heard anything like this before. I like that.
“Love Warriors” takes us back to the indie, rock, pop, country mood once again.
Guitars sound amazing, synth sounds fit right at home…piano melodic lines are awesome…the whole energy coming from this track is great. It also has a more fast and energetic beat to it, definitely adds to the pacing of the album.
“Radium Girls” is a very personal story.
Shannon talks about her mom-mom, her grandmother.
The composition is emotional, the production is emotional, the instrumentation has been chosen perfectly to reflect this tight relationship.
…also, once again, this one has a very strong cinematic feeling to it.
Now, we almost reach the end of our journey with the tenth and last track in the album…the aptly named “Walk Each Other Home”.
Even the title acts as a little wave, saying goodbye.
Shannon once again, can change her performance and gives a different mood with her delivery.
I have to say that Shannon is one of the most versatile artists out there at the moment…the reason is very simple and very impossible at the same time, but hear me out…
Shannon Hawley can sound completely different and yet the same in the most amazing and emotional ways possible.
“Starthrowers” is a labor of love and it shows.
It is a highly recommended album in and of itself, and Shannon…we’ll need to keep our eyes peeled out for future projects. You’ve made a brilliant album with Hector on “Starthrowers”.
We highly recommend everyone reading right now, go check “Starthrowers”.
The album is available online and can be checked on all major platforms.
Shannon, we wish that your light shines brighter each day.