Shannen Moser's Oh, My Heart is a beautiful, raw portrayal of growth.
Shannen Moser has been a familiar face in the Philadelphia DIY scene for as long as I can remember. Best known for her uniquely intimate lyrics and simplistic but gripping chord compositions, Moser’s music is a secret staple of Philly DIY. Her latest album, Oh, My Heart, features the most intriguing and beloved aspects of her music but diverges from the lo-fi qualities that characterized her previous releases. Clear and crisp, Oh, My Heart features soft melodies that flow around each other in consonance with her vocals; her lyrics are raw and telling, like poems in a private journal that touch on death, nostalgia, and shattered pipe dreams.
Moser’s distinctly melancholy lyrics contrast with open, sticky-sweet, and glistening instrumentation. Oh, My Heart's similarity to a warm, intimate live studio session can be credited to the multiple musicians and instruments that show up throughout the album. The various contributions give each song their own special element, like the subtle organ and layered voices on "Yr Undertaker" or the shiny bells on "Grower." Twinkly melodies and introspective mantras (“love will fuck us all”) stick in one’s head, evoking the styles of Emily Yacina, Margaret Glaspy, and young Laura Marling. The album ends on a hopeful note– a grounding exercise used when processing growing pains. She reminds herself of her roots (“Dirt and Water”) and to hold onto valuable past experiences through emotions and lessons. The album itself parallels this goal; Moser has progressed to hi-fi recording but has not abandoned the rare simplicity and intimacy of her music. Oh, My Heart is a means for Moser to share her process of growth with us, and I look forward to listening as she does so.
Listen to Shannen Moser on bandcamp.
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JL Simonson is a Libra who is almost always either making music or tea. Get in touch with them via their twitter.