As I have been a member of the Rough Trade Album Club for 11 years, I have noticed that once a year the core album has a heavy 60’s influence. In the past years I have received records by Unloved, Cults, Candie Payne and more. As you can guess April’s core album, The Shacks are another group who play a debt to the sounds of the past.
Girl groups, country pop, French pop, 60’s radio hits it’s all there but The Shacks are smart and rather than steal 60’s sounds, there’s a gentle homage. Take one of the standout tracks Birds, it starts off with a rubbery acoustic guitar and then disappears into a floaty ambient music for the verses and then plunges into the rubbery guitar again. It sounds great. Second track Follow me has a gentle swagger that wouldn’t sound out of place on a sixties pop compilation but then electronic noises make their way into the mix and it does a good job of making the old sound new.
A lot of the tracks follow suit, making Haze an overall pleasant guitar pop album. One that will make you dance with its playful vibes. Not one track is a dud so the high consistency makes Haze an wholesome listen as well. It also does one thing that I have been finding rare in albums and that it has a memorable closing track; Let Your Love. At first listen it may give off a whiff of twee but then I am sure when that ‘no woman no cry’ rhythm sinks into your brain then you’ll see it as the perfect closer.
I like a good sunny album, furthermore I like a consistent sunny album and The Shacks have that in bucketloads. As an added bonus there’s a second disc with their debut mini album and trust me it’s equally good. The Shacks obviously have a knack with a tune and with arrangements and it comes out beautifully on Haze.