Thursday, February 3, 2022

Shane Parish - "Haul Away Joe"

Photo by Courtney Chappell

I never thought I'd be that into reworked sea shanties, but we live in odd times. Shane Parish has recently released a new song from his album of re-imagined sea shanties for guitar and percussion. "Haul Away Joe" doesn't truly sound like a traditional song. It's experimental guitar layered over guitar and drums. It's beautiful, but in kind of an ugly way. Parish has created this swirling and haunting soundscape for "Haul Away Joe" that is going to repel casual top 40 or adult contemporary listeners, but is going to draw adventurous listeners in. You're going to be taken in by the wave of sound that sweeps over you and around you. As I describe this, I realize I'm also describing an ocean wave which wasn't intentional. And then, slowly, the melody of a traditional sea shanty starts peeking out for you to notice. Shane Parish has crafted something truly special and unique here.

In a press release, Shane Parish talks about the new song and accompanying video:

"I first heard this song on the album 'Foc'sle Songs and Shanties', which I learned about when I was reading Bob Dylan's memoire 'Chronicles Volume I'. This was around the time my career unexpectedly veered into folk music from free jazz, experimental, and prog, and John Zorn signed me to do a folk record. Dylan's book references so much amazing music and I made a playlist on Spotify of every song he mentions. It's phenomenal and the only reason I can't get rid of my Spotify account.

"My plan was to film this video in South Florida, where I grew up, over the xmas holidays, but Omicron made us change our plans and we stayed in Athens. My wife Courtney is a phenomenal dancer and I just love the way her spirit animates her body through dance. She is featured among the industrial imagery we filmed near my daughter's dance school in Athens."

You can watch the video for "Haul Away Joe" below. Liverpool is due out March 4 on Dear Life Records, and can be pre-ordered via Bandcamp. For more on Shane Parish, check out the artist's website.

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