The Shacks are Bringing Their Signature Dreamy Sound to WGBH

The Shacks are well on their way to becoming one of the year’s big breakouts. With a sound that’s somehow both retro and modern at once, their debut album Haze plays out like the soundtrack of an old film that’s calling you into a world of analog beauty, solidifying their status as a band with ability to deliver on the well-deserved buzz.

We couldn’t be more thrilled that they’re bringing their signature dreamy sounds to WGBH on Friday, 4/20 for our Live at Fraser series. Tickets are on sale now.

So, there are two moments when The Shacks will stop you dead in your tracks. The first comes when you hear their music — a perfect blend of early rock, vintage soul, and vocals that seem to float out weightlessly from the ether. Like a dream, their songs blend the familiar and the unfamiliar, creating a reality full of beauty and yearning.

The second moment comes when you realize that the artists behind the music are barely out of high school. But as young as they may be, The Shacks are already music industry veterans. 21-year-old guitarist/producer Max Shrager began his career at the age of fourteen when he landed an internship at Daptone.

“I was really interested in tape and analog recording,” explains Shrager. He and Shacks drummer Ben Borchers, spent hours in his New Jersey basement each day after school experimenting with a four-track cassette machine. “I sent Gabe (Roth, Daptone producer) an email with a demo we’d done, and he called me the next day and asked if I wanted to come intern at the Daptone studio.”

Within a few years, Shrager was on the road playing with legends Charles Bradley and Lee Fields. And by the time he was 17, he’d penned singles for Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens.

20-year-old singer/bassist Shannon Wise grew up in New York City surrounded by music. With a songwriter for a mother and a producer for a father, she developed thoroughly eclectic tastes and channeled her love of music into an encyclopedic knowledge of classic soul and vintage vocal groups.

When Wise and Shrager met, their bond was immediate and that chemistry lies at the heart of their album Haze, a record so hypnotic, it feels more like a whispered late-night secret than a debut. The seeds of the tracks begin with Shrager or Wise, but each song has elements of every member in its DNA, explaining how the band is able to cohesively bring together so many eras of music.

“We try to think of our music as an extension of our lives,” says Shrager. “And maybe that’s a cliché, but I think it’s something that’s actually lost in the world these days.”

Tickets for their upcoming show at WGBH can be purchased here. In the meantime, check out The Shacks’ hypnotic cover of Ray Davies’ “This Strange Effect”. Look familiar? The song soundtracked a new iPhone commercial, which stars Wise.