From the album Sarah Shannon (2002)
It’s been more than a decade since the rock band Velocity Girl broke up, putting an end to one of my favorite high school-era ensembles and effectively ending my exposure to the group’s vocalist, Sarah Shannon. Her post-VG work, a band called Starry Eyes, was short-lived and VG’s online fan base wasn’t large or cohesive enough to adequately maintain updates of band members’ whereabouts. From my perspective, Shannon had disappeared from the music scene completely and over time, my teenage indie-rock crush faded.
And while Velocity Girl’s particular mix of noise pop received and still receives a fair amount of play around here, by and large I stopped trying to follow her career, having figured she was just done with music in general. So it came as quite a surprise to me when I learned that she had released a solo album. But it was even more of a surprise to actually hear what it sounded like.
Exemplified most by I’ll Run Away, this song and album is the anti-Velocity Girl. A far cry from the sunny, jangly pop-rock of a decade ago, this song is soulful and somber, bordering on jazz-lounge pianist balladry. Sarah says the song is about being down, out and lonely in the dead of winter in Seattle, and yeah, I believe that. But for some reason the song doesn’t make me feel sad.
That’s just Sarah’s charm at work I guess.
What I love: As always, Sarah’s voice; the song’s steady mid-tempo rhythm.