There are few things about Shayna Adler that walk outside the whimsical. Her aesthetics speak fiction-fantasy, and her music is a world in itself. Shayna’s marvelously illustrated songwriting is a Folk-Rock wonder of adventures and storytelling.
Heavily influenced by American Folk and Country music, Celtic music, and 1960’s-1970’s Psychedelic Folk Rock such as Jethro Tull or The Byrds, Shayna’s recordings are filled with layers and otherworldly dimensions; an acoustic orchestra traveling by caravan… Feminism and self-empowerment are a constant underlying theme in her songs.
Shayna’s 2019 debut original, all-acoustic EP, Gypsies & Caravans, just begins to scratch the surface of a deeper world that’s yet to be revealed. “I knew the full album was nowhere near ready, and I wanted to something for friends and fans to have now. So, we recorded handful of my songs the same way we’d been performing them live with my trio. Simple, honest, and not giving too much away because I knew what these songs would become,” Shayna recalls, “Josh Sklair and Eva Friedman played together live in one room while I sang in the booth, and what you hear is what you get.” The album art was hand-drawn by Shayna, whose imagination manifests in many mediums.
Shayna’s upcoming self-produced LP Album is 9-song labor of love, currently in creation at Horse Latitudes Studios in Glendale, California. It’s been a project in the works since mid 2018. It features the talents of Mark Christian (Merle Jagger), Mario Calire (The Wallflowers), Matt Tecu (Echo in the Canyon), Alexis Sklarevski (Crosby, Stills & Nash), Ed Roth (Annie Lennox), Kaitlin Wolfberg (Wild Honey Orchestra), Jean Paul Barjon (Alicia Keys), Lamar Mitchell (Stevie Wonder), Greg Liesz (Bon Iver), Sasha Smith (Sam Morrow), Johnny Stachela (The Allman Betts Band), Randy Crenshaw (Disney), Al Bonhomme (Dwight Yoakam), Dillon Vanders, Pride Hutchison (Lester Chambers), Aeb Byrne (Robby Krieger).
Every song is being produced like a painting, with Shayna developing the rhythm parts during pre-production, and the tracks being developed and recorded one part at a time, “It’s been a lengthy process, but what we’ve created could never have been cut live in a few days and still have the same depth.” Subliminally cinematic and orchestral in arrangement, these original Folk-Rock songs pass between modern Americana and 1970’s Psychedelia: with unexpected chord changes, atmospheric synths, and strange twists and turns that follow the storylines instead of a chart. A concept album, “It follows the fantastical story of one woman,” explains Shayna, “which became clear when I chose the songs, and I actually wrote a couple more just for this album—they were missing chapters.” Everything is detailed and deliberate when it comes to Shayna, and she is uncompromising when it comes to vision. “As I’ve been exploring this concept, it’s taken on a life in itself. I don’t mean to sound cliché, but it really is a journey—in both the whimsical sense and the philosophical. Discovering who you are and what you’re made of is not all sunshine and flowers. It’s not just self-awareness from enduring a heartbreak—it’s the culmination of a lifetime of experiences, and some of them are just plain ugly. But I find as artists, we don’t always write about that. It’s easy to shift the focus onto the people that facilitate our exploration. You won’t find that on this record. This album is the story about how one person figured out just what they were made of, at a time when they had thought they’d seen everything. And when they thought they had nothing left, there was so much more.” The album is expected to be released independently, this coming October 2020.