El Michels Affair are back with a 45 of original material that features a new NYC band called The Shacks. The Shacks are made up of the enigmatic Shannon Wise, and studio wunderkind, Max Shrager. Their dreamy, voyeuristic sound was born in Michels’ Queens, NY studio in 2015. And while they describe themselves as a rock band, don’t expect the conventional kind.
The story goes that Max brought Shannon to the studio, where he was playing guitar on a track produced by Leon Michels of El Michels Affair, that needed a vocalist. They put Shannon in the booth to try it out. It was her first time ever recording. Then, in one take, the song “Strange Boy” had a singer who completed the vibe. The Shacks were born.
Side A, “Strange Boy”, sounds like the Five Keys met Neil Young and cut a record with Jane Birkin – but in English. A fuzzed out, heavy backing track with doo-wop background vocals create a peculiar, but perfect bed for Shannon’s dead pan celebration of her “Strange Boy”, of whom she would gladly “drink the kool aid from his cup”.
Side B, “No Surprise”, is a perfect blend of El Michels Affair’s hazy, cinematic soul and 60’s pop ala Sonny and Cher.
When this stunning lil two sider was recorded, Shannon was only 16 and Max was 18.