Shannon & The Clams release ‘Big Wheel’

Shannon & The Clams have released their latest single ‘Big Wheel’ and its accompanying music video. The song will be featured on their upcoming album The Moon Is In The Wrong Place out May 10 via Easy Eye Sound.

Kicking off with resounding Moog synthesiser instrumentals and vocals from guitarist Cody Blanchard, ‘Big Wheel’ chronicles the unavoidable passage of time and life’s impermanence. On the track, Shannon & The Clams showcase their remarkable knack for making big, devastating feelings more tangible through upbeat melodies and creating a place for listeners to celebrate life.

In August 2022, singer and frontwoman Shannon Shaw’s world was turned inside out: with mere weeks to go until their wedding, the singer’s fiancé, Joe Haener, died in a horrific car accident. It was a devastating loss that hit Shannon & The Clams — who were all incredibly close with Haener — with cataclysmic force.

Cue ‘Big Wheel’, guitarist Cody Blanchard’s response to Joe’s death — a meditation on how time and reality become distorted in the face of sudden loss. The lyrics ruminate on the feeling of helplessness as time marches on after someone dies, like the feeling of being strapped into a Ferris wheel seat that you don’t want to be on — as if you have accidentally gotten on the wrong ride and everything has ‘gone off the track’ and you desperately want to pull the stop lever. The song also explores the impotent desire to rewind time and to keep the gap between ‘now’ and ‘before’ as small as possible, like the urge to keep a child at a certain innocent age before the harshness of the world turns them cynical. “See the boy waiting in line, weep for him on the other side.”

The accompanying music video, directed by Vanessa Pla, is an eerie exploration of time visually reminiscent of silent-era films. ‘Big Wheel’ premiered today via PAPER, who spoke exclusively with the band. Read the full piece HERE.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO ‘BIG WHEEL’

CLICK HERE TO PRE-SAVE/PRE-ORDER THE MOON IS IN THE WRONG PLACE

The Moon Is In The Wrong Place debuts on May 10th on longtime collaborator Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys’ acclaimed label Easy Eye Sound.

The ominous title phrase came from something Haener said to Shaw not long before the accident. “He was trying to ask me what was going on astrologically. He said, ‘What’s going on in the stars right now?’ He was basically asking if Mercury was in retrograde.”

The Moon Is In The Wrong Place opens with ‘The Vow’, a horn-laced number that Shaw wrote with the intention of surprising Joe Haener on their wedding day. The track is a brief glimpse of possibility and hope for what might’ve been, one that is quickly torn to shreds. It’s followed by ‘The Hourglass’, a product of the band’s jam sessions. Intense and unsettling, its hypnotic, lurching groove and cascading organ runs have a touch of off-kilter Krautrock in them; it also offers a look at the volcano of emotion churning inside Shaw’s body.

There are many moments of staggering beauty on The Moon Is In The Wrong Place. ‘Real Or Magic’ is lush and dreamy, written about a vision where Haener appeared to Shaw bathed in light, and for a moment it felt like none of the horror had been real. In ‘Oh So Close, Yet So Far,’ Shaw feels him in the breeze, the stars, and the trees, understanding that now she shares him with everyone. ‘So Lucky’ grew out of a mantra Shaw was repeating in the weeks after Haener’s death, and the lush arrangement shimmers with sadness and gratitude in equal measure as she recounts her favourite little details.

Cody Blanchard steps up to the mic for lead vocal duties on several tracks that address his experience with loss and grief, including the Northern soul-styled lament ‘What You’re Missing’. Will Sprott makes an appearance as lead singer, describing an otherworldly encounter in the trippy tune ‘UFO’.

Ultimately, Shaw finds something like acceptance. In the album-closing ‘Life Is Unfair’, she spells it out: “Life is unfair, yet beautiful. I see it now.” Existence is both bitter and sweet, sunshine and rain, dark and light, life and death. It’s a little bit of everything. Sometimes the moon is in the wrong place. Knowing that has made her, and The Clams, stronger. ‘Bean Fields’ is an emotional high point of the album and a celebration of life. Haener’s farm, specifically the sprawling bean fields he planted, was the site of the tragic car accident, but they also symbolize his lasting impact on those around him.

Shannon & The Clams will be touring throughout 2024 to support The Moon Is In The Wrong Place. Tickets can be purchased on the band’s website HERE.

Photo credit: Jim Herrington

FOR MORE ON SHANNON & THE CLAMS:
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