Shannon and the Clams Rock a Modern Sock Hop

by Sarah Schulte

Shannon and the Clams are the surf rock band that the world didn’t know it needed.

Shannon Shaw (lead vocals and bass), Cody Blanchard (guitar), Nate Mahan (drums), and Will Sprott (keyboard), came together as Shannon and the Clams after Shaw and Blanchard met at the California College of the Arts and began performing together. Hailing from Oakland, California, the indie garage-punk group fuses doo-wop, R&B, and psychedelia into a nostalgic dreamscape.

The group debuted in 2009 with their album I Wanna Go Home, which featured such tracks as the pulsing Troublemaker that exemplify their raw energy. Their debut album was followed by Sleeptalk (2011), Dreams in the Rat House (2013), and Gone by the Dawn (2015).

The Clams released their fourth LP Onion on February 16th. The Clams take their listeners on a journey through youth and love with this album. Shaw’s gritty rasp is complemented well by Blanchard’s crisp guitar throughout the record.

Even with the simplest melodies, Shaw’s lyrics rip themselves into the hearts of listeners in an amazing display of honest songwriting. There’s just something about them that transports the world back to the Buddy Holly era, so throw on your Sunday best and head on over to the high-school hop.

Shannon and the Clams have kicked off a tour with Dan Auerbach, and they will be at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on Sunday, February 25th. You can listen to their new album Onion on Spotify.


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