On the heels of her previously released single, “Rare to Wake,” Shannon Lay shares the official double video for the gorgeous singles “Awaken and Allow “ and “Geist,” from her forthcoming record Geist, which will be available worldwide on October 8th from Sub Pop Records.
Watch the new video for “Awaken and Allow “ and “Geist” now, which was directed by Kai MacKnight. Lay says of the singles “Awaken and Allow” is a prayer and a promise. A quiet moment to reflect on transformation and what it means to me. California represents my comfort zone and in this song, I am urging myself and everyone listening to move out of their comfort zone in order to push ourselves to grow and evolve. We are all in a constant state of change and the way we can learn to move and flow with that change completely elevates our experience with it. The most amazing thing we can do for ourselves is recognize where and how we are standing in our own way and move aside. “Awaken and Allow” your greatness to emerge.
“Geist” is a testament to the power we all have within. We are so much more amazing than we know ourselves to be. With this video, I really wanted to acknowledge some of the incredible people who make shows possible. We filmed at Zebulon in Los Angeles; a venue that has brought so much to the community here and I am so happy they have survived this uncertain time. There is so much going on behind the scenes to create the amazing memories we all have of live music and every part of that took a hit with the pandemic. With all we have been through it has been awe-inspiring to see the strength of the human spirit. Let us move forward with kindness and love toward ourselves and others. Let us see the beauty and wonder in the lives we get to live and appreciate every moment of it.”
Lay has confirmed a handful of live performances this fall in support of Geist. These include appearances at this year’s Huichica Festival in Sonoma, California on October 16th and 17th, and NYC-area shows on October 19th at TV Eye in Brooklyn, and October 20th at the Mercury Lounge in Manhattan. More shows to be announced soon.
Fri. Oct 8 - Long Beach, CA - Living Room Show
Thurs. Oct 15 - Sonoma, CA - HUICHICA Festival
Fri. Oct 16 - Sonoma, CA - HUICHICA Festival
Tue. Oct. 19 - Brooklyn, NY - TV Eye
Wed. Oct. 20 - New York, NY - Mercury Lounge
Geist feels like a window - or a mirror - into possibilities of the self and beyond. Lay’s new album is tender intensity, placeless and ethereal. It exists in the chasms of the present – a world populated by shadow selves, spiritual awakenings, déjà vu, and past lives.
“Something sleeps inside us,” Lay insists on the opening track, and that’s the guiding philosophy throughout. A winding, golden, delicate thread of intuition that explores the unknown, the possibility. Its title, Geist, the German word for spirit, is rife with an otherworldly presence, the suggestion of another. The promise that you are never alone.
Lay tracked vocals and guitar at Jarvis Tavinere of Woods’s studio, then sent the songs out to multi-instrumentalists Ben Boye (Bonnie Prince Billy, Ty Segall) in Los Angeles and Devin Hoff (Sharon Van Etten, Cibo Matto) in New York; trusting their musical instincts and intuition. She then sent those recordings to Sofia Arreguin (Wand) and Aaron Otheim (Heatwarmer, Mega Bog) for additional keys, while Ty Segall contributed a guitar solo on “Shores.”
As a whole, Geist is both esoteric and accessible. There’s the concise, pared-back cover of Syd Barrett’s tilt-a-whirl-esque “Late Night,” while “Rare to Wake,” inspired by Dune, is existential and meditative, a circular guitar riff looping at the core of it. “Awaken and Allow,” is ancient-feeling and mainly a cappella, its melody channels her deep Irish roots, a moment of reflection, before a drop happens – its intensity mirroring the anticipation and anxiety that come with taking the first step to accepting change for yourself.
“Time’s Arrow,” with its refrain of heading downhill, was inspired by something a close friend said. Lay notes: “I wanted ‘Time’s Arrow’ to be this gentle reminder that we’re on our way, and we’re moving forward. There is medicine in every moment so don’t rush.”
“Thread to Find,” which Lay wrote after walking into an old hotel in Switzerland and being struck by the feeling like she’d been there before, is a testament to the energy we leave behind and stumble across.
And the title track “Geist,” a song about the power living in all of us, is a love song to the possibility of healing, an ode to falling into the arms of what you’re becoming. It’s a glimpse into the parts of yourself you have yet to meet. But you can, if you want to.
Geist is now available for preorder on CD/LP/CS/DSPs from Sub Pop. LP preorders from megamart.subpop.com, select independent retailers in North America will receive the limited Loser edition clear with orange and green hi-melt vinyl (while supplies last). Meanwhile, LP preorders in the U.K, and in Europe will receive the limited Loser edition on sun yellow vinyl (while supplies last).
1. Rare to Wake
2. A Thread to Find
5. Awaken and Allow
8. Late Night
9. Times Arrow