shana cleveland and the sandcastles ~ oh man, cover the ground
The PNW’s The Curious Mystery, is a modern version of a 1960’s psychedelic band, merging the tonal qualities of subdued and relaxing Eastern music with the western rock. They are truly a Northwest prize, who’s been touring the country spreading the word of their awesomeness. Their 2011 album We Creeling built beautifully off their debut Rotting Slowly. I saw them perform last year at NW Folklife and loved their stage presence, their ability to rock hard and sooth you with sensual melodies is second to none.
Shana Cleveland the front woman for the Curious Mystery has been involved with a number of side projects but perhaps my favorite is: Shana Cleveland and the Sandcastles, a neo-Americana folk band. I found them some time last year while researching a song of the week for the Curious Mystery, and was blown away. Oh Man, Cover the Ground, is a perfect album for a cold and nasty Northwest day, of which their are many. I found myself listening to it on repeat last year during a weekend in a foggy and damp weekend in the San Juan Islands.
Despite being recorded rather low rent on a simple reel-to-reel, it sounds surprisingly well polished and at the same time just low tech enough to give it a completely organic feel. The Sandcastles are more traditional than say The Curious Mystery, far less psychedelic and much more relaxing and earthbound. In my recent conversation with Angelo Spencer we got talking about landscape music, the term is pretty undefined and largely subjective but the Sandcastles are my idea of the perfect landscape music. Images of long isolated road of the American West are conjured.
As far as side projects go Shana Cleveland and the Sandcastles are a pretty little gem. You can buy their album through bandcamp on tape, compact disc, and mp3. Perhaps even more exciting, you can watch them live at this years NW Folklife festival.