Shana Cleveland – Night of the Worm Moon review

Secret Meeting score: 82

by Joseph Purcell

Most commonly found fronting LA/Seattle based, surf rock 60s pop mash up band, La Luz, Shana Cleveland strikes out on her own on with Night of the Worm Moon.

Opener, Don’t Let Me Sleep Too late, oozes a majestic serenity, carefully driven along by a dry acoustic rhythm that reoccurs as the centre point on the hypnotic instrumental Castle Milk. Face of the Sun continues the expansive dreamy theme – as her soundscapes fall beautifully around Cleveland’s warming vocal.

However, it is in the second half of …Worm Moon that Cleveland accentuates her talents – shifting focus from the safety of the early tracks. The Fireball signifies a darker tone, packed with bleeding echoes that crash throughout and provide an imaginative break from the early album sunshine. While Solar Creep feels straight out of a Spaghetti Western score – before the haunting poise of A New Song, which brings to mind Kurt Vile’s best work, provides the album with its definitive highlight.

Throughout Night of the Worm Moon, Cleveland gives glimpses of her true potential as a songwriter. The early tracks, whilst heart warming, do flirt with safety, but when she hits her stride and bends the defined genre, she breaks boundaries which restrict many of her contemporaries.

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