This Atlanta-based singer-songwriter has garnered favorable comparisons to early PJ Harvey. (Her last album was produced by always-abrasive Steve Albini.) But here Shannon Wright shears off anything that could even be misconstrued as rough, and comes up with a great after-midnight album, where you can hear fingers squeak on the guitar strings and the piano bench rumble. The intensity is still there throughout, but it's comfortably cushioned with Eric Satie classical piano trills and soft singing that rarely ventures out of chanteuse territory. One notable exception is "St. Pete" where she belts, "I wish God would make things clear/ There's no fight left in me." But this ain't no downer's dozen here; Wright's got a realist's optimism that allows her to sing "everything must come to an end, let's stay as long as we can" and sound like she means it. As the trades are fond of saying, a stunner.
Serene Dominic writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.