Following their supremely fun 2009 debut full-length “I Wanna Go Home,” garage/surf outfit Shannon & the Clams seem to have really grown into their sound on their new album “Sleep Talk” (1-2-3-4 Go! Records). On “Sleep Talk,” singer Shannon Shaw showcases the breadth of her vocal talents–she’s got a unique voice, and seems to be able to bend and manipulate it to make it do whatever she wants it to. Her skills are best showcased on tracks like “You Will Always Bring Me Flowers” and “Oh Louie,” where she proves she can really wail. Shaw has a strong understanding of the benefit of sometimes showing restraint and sometimes totally letting loose, and often treads the line between brassy belting and tender crooning.
Shaw is accompanied by guitarist and co-songwriter Cody Blanchard, who contributes some really great harmonizing on songs like “Done With You” and “Half Rat,” and awesome strumming all over this record. The Clams’ songs also tackle a wide variety of topics, from the serious (heartbreak, murder, and exes who are “half-rat”) to the silly (quitting the cult you’ve joined, and being the “king of the sea”). If you’re looking for the perfect album to usher in the good summer vibes, this is the one.