Shannon and the Clams are back, baby! The Bay Area doo-wop misfits have stayed busy this year cooking up a brand new album with Dan Auerbach at the helm as producer, and today Noisey is pleased to announce the group’s fifth studio album, Onion, due out February 16.
The album was recorded over ten days in January 2017 at Auerbach’s Easy Eye Studios in Nashville, and takes on themes of origin, identity, and introspection; much of the record’s inspiration came in the wake of the Oakland Ghost Ship warehouse fire last December, and their reflections on the importance of local underground scenes like that from which the band came.
“I had this epiphany that was likening an onion to being human and how you’re nothing without layers of experience,” says singer-bassist Shannon Shaw. “Every time you think you’ve figured something out there’s just another layer beneath it. Each song on this album is about problem solving and having realizations about yourself.”
The album’s first single, “The Boy”—premiering on Noisey above—kicks the record off, a classic Clams tune that tackles the lingering impact of early childhood experience and how we reckon with the baggage in its wake. It's a sparkling, hook-laden track that immediately gets under your skin with its wall-of-sound chorus, rife with crisp guitar strums, cascading riffs, and raw harmonies led by vocalist-guitarist Cody Blanchard.
Its Ryan Daniel Brown-directed video is accordingly colorful, with a gold paint-covered Blanchard trekking down a country road between cuts of the spectre-like, neon-hued band. It only gets more surreal from there.
"Shannon had a vision of a Sparkling Gold Cody and a Ghostly Blue Cody walking together down a country road,” Brown tells Noisey. “When we grow up we might feel like we're leaving old selves behind...but they're actually still there. We had fun with this symbolism and were also inspired by 1960s and 70s James Bond title sequences. The Clams are such a telegenic band, really all you have to do is put them in front of a camera and magic and madness ensue."
Watch the video premiere of Shannon and the Clams’s “The Boy” above, and check out the album’s track listing and tour dates with Dan Auerbach below. Pre-order Onion here.
1. The Boy
2. It’s Gonna Go Away
4. If You Could Know
5. I Never Wanted Love
7. Did You Love Me
8. Love Strike
9. I Leave Again
11. Tell Me When You Leave
12. Strange Wind
13. Don’t Close Your Eyes
Dan Auerbach and the Easy Eye Sound Revue featuring Robert Finley,
Shannon Shaw with special guests Shannon and the Clams:
February 10 /// Vancouver, BC /// Vogue Theatre
February 11 /// Portland, OR /// Crystal Ballroom
February 12 /// Seattle, WA /// The Showbox
February 14 /// San Francisco, CA /// The Fillmore
February 17 /// Los Angeles, CA /// The Wiltern
February 18 /// Santa Ana, CA /// The Observatory
February 19 /// San Diego, CA /// The Observatory North Park
February 20 /// Phoenix, AZ /// The Van Buren
February 22 /// Dallas, TX /// Canton Hall
February 23 /// Austin, TX /// Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater
February 25 /// Nashville, TN /// Ryman Auditorium
March 24 /// Philadelphia, PA /// Union Transfer
March 25 /// Boston, MA /// House of Blues
March 27 /// Brooklyn, NY /// Brooklyn Steel
March 29 /// Toronto, ON /// Danforth Music Hall
March 31 /// Cleveland, OH /// Agora Theater
April 02 /// Chicago, IL /// Riviera Theatre
April 03 /// St. Paul, MN /// Palace Theatre
April 04 /// Kansas City, MO /// The Truman
April 05 /// Denver, CO /// Paramount Theatre
Andrea Domanick is Noisey's West Coast editor. Follow her on Twitter.