After a few years making a name for herself in the Philly house show scene, singer-songwriter Shannen Moser released the very impressive Oh, My Heart tape this winter, and it was an arrival. Building on the promise of her low-fi 2015 debut, you shouldn’t be doing that, the LP showcased haunting, heartrending songs embracing Moser’s roots in folk and country music with stunning arrangements made in collaboration with guitarist Eric Muth.
Folk has always been in Moser’s blood; she grew up in Berks County, she remembers hearing her dad play Townes Van Zandt’s “Be Here In the Morning” in his truck, and to this day sacred harp singing is one of her favorite forms of music. She says it makes her feel most at peace, and Oh, My Heart opens with a 28-second sample of “I’m Going Home” from a Sacred Harp concert at UCLA’s Royce Hall.
This confluence of factors is certainly why I gravitated to it, and my enthusiasm was shared by the team at Folkadelphia radio. This winter, we teamed up for a collaboration between Folkadelphia and The Key Studio Sessions to record Moser and her band. Today, we’re excited to bring you a video from that session, as well as some news — Moser’s Oh, My Heart will receive a vinyl reissue via Lame-O Records this spring.
Backed by Muth on guitar, Julia Peters on cello and Joe Evers on keys, Moser delivers a moving performance of “Alex (282)” in WXPN Studios. On the album, the song comes right out of the introduction of “I’m Going Home,” and references the Sacred Harp Hymnal (“Page 282, I don’t care to stay here long”) in lyrics about escape from emotional numbness as well as growing out of youth and seeking comfort in things bigger than yourself.
As Moser tells us over email, “Alex” is “about escaping grief and sorrow and lending your heart to the things that make you feel good but also allow you to grow. More personally, it is also about my high school best friend who had a profound impact on my life.”
With the Oh, My Heart reissue on the way, Moser has a busy spring of gigs; locally, she opens for Cayetana at the First Unitarian Church on May 5th and opens for Sorority Noise at Union Transfer on June 14th; she also has shows on the road with PInegrove, Fourth Wanderers, Sorority Noise and The Obsessives. Check out the full dates below, and stream Moser’s entire Folkadelphia / Key Session. Pre-order Oh, My Heart from Lame-O Records here; the record will be available in late May.
04/29 – Washington, DC – Rock & Roll Hotel%
05/05 – Philadelphia, PA – First Unitarian Church &
06/03 – Northampton, MA – The Flywheel*
06/04 – Montreal, QC – Bar Le Ritz PDB*
0606 – Toronto, ON – The Smiling Buddah*
06/07 – Detroit, MI – UFO Factory*
06/08 – Chicago, IL – Subterranean*
06/09 – Madison, WI – Memorial Union Terrace @ University Of Wisconsin*
06/10 – Chicago, IL – Wicker Park’s Green Music Festival
06/11 – Cleveland, OH – Mahall’s*
06/12 – Columbus, OH – Double Happiness*
06/13 – Washington, DC – Rock & Roll Hotel#
06/14 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer#
06/15 – Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg#
06/16 – Cambridge, MA – The Sinclair#
06/17 – Hamden, CT – The Ballroom at The Outer Space#
& = w/ Cayetana
% = w/ Pinegrove
* = w/ Forth Wanderers
# = w/ Sorority Noise, The Obsessives and Forth Wanderers