Let me start by saying I play no instruments. I had a guitar, but I also had zero hand-eye coordination, which didn’t last long. I also couldn’t hold a note if my life depended on it. But I love music, and right now, I am loving Shakey Graves.
My first introduction to Shakey Graves was through a YouTube rabbit-hole session. I can’t remember who I started on, but I ended with Colter Wall and Mr. Graves at about three in the morning. I’d be lying if I said the first thing I noticed wasn’t his unbelievably good looks, but as he began playing, I was captivated by his music. As Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon recently said about teammate and captain Gabriel Landeskog, “he’s a man rocket,” but damn, can the Texas native also play.
While he hasn’t released a full-length album since 2018’s ‘Can’t Wake Up,’ Graves did release a four-track EP earlier this year titled ‘Look Alive.’ My introduction to Graves was from a 2013 Audiotree recording and what caught my attention (apart from the smoking hot looks) was the tempo at which he played and gravelly voice. It wasn’t perfect, but the emotion carried what was lacking, and he drew me in.
On the title track ‘Look Alive’ and ‘The Recipe,’ he has slowed that tempo down and, on first listen, reminded me a lot of Radiohead. On that Audiotree session, he played every instrument himself, whereas on ‘Look Alive,’ the more fleshed-out sound of a full band prevails. However, simple, catchy lyrics like “Bud Light don’t taste right to me; they must have changed the recipe” remain.
While none of the tracks are foot-tappers like ‘Roll the Bones’ on the Audiotree EP, none are instant track changes. At 19 minutes, the full EP is also an ideal length to consume during a lunch break when you want to escape without physically escaping. ‘Under the Hood’ specifically will drown out that annoying co-worker while also informing you, “Don’t believe anything everyone tells you, Don’t believe your eyes.”
If you get a chance, check out Shakey Graves, but preferably on an audio-only device first. Then upgrade to YouTube and prepare to swoon. Have I mentioned how hot he is? YouTube user Life of Kai summed it up best when he said: “He makes my ovaries sweat, and I’m a straight male.” He’s not wrong.
Look Alive EP Vendetta Rating: 4.5/5