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Shelby Mason’s Sophomore Album “Pirate Ships” Sets Sail on August 4th


Prepare to embark on a musical journey like no other as Atlanta-based singer-songwriter Shelby Mason is set to release her sophomore album, “Pirate Ships”, on August 4th. Following the success of her debut album “When I Drive”, Mason takes a bold step forward with her first self-produced album, a testament to her multifaceted talent and dedication to her craft.

“Pirate Ships” is a deeply personal project, with Mason writing, arranging, recording, and mixing each song. The album explores the intersection of childhood and adulthood, a theme that resonates with many in their late 20s. It’s a poignant exploration of the darker images of adulthood, such as smoking behind dive bars, juxtaposed with childlike themes like crayon pictures on the fridge and pirouettes in the kitchen.

Mason’s voice is a beacon guiding us through the album, a lighthouse amidst the stormy seas of life. Her voice, as comforting as a warm blanket on a cold night, carries a folky charm that is both soothing and captivating. It’s a voice that draws comparisons to the subtle delivery of Tomberlin, the lyrical prowess of Haley Heynderickx, and the dynamic delivery of Phoebe Bridgers.

The album opens with the sounds of ocean waves in “001”, setting the stage for a voyage of self-discovery. The title track “Pirate Ships” follows, its guitar seeming to emerge from underwater, perfectly segueing into the full song. The minimalist production throughout the album allows the stunning instrumentation to shine, subtly propping up the lyrics and adding depth and emotion to each track.

“I Wish You Would” is a poignant reflection on relationships, encapsulated in the lyric, “letting go of something good to reach for something better”. The song’s cadence minimalist production and stunning instrumentation provide a stirring backdrop to Mason’s heartfelt vocals, allowing the lyrics to take center stage.

“Pavement” is a raw exploration of the feelings of desperate suicidal thoughts often masked as jokes and the overdrinking that comes with coping with these feelings. The song’s austere minimalist production and haunting instrumentation underscore the song’s emotional weight, creating a powerful listening experience.

“Trouble” is a ballad about falling for someone who disrupts your everyday life, bringing chaos yet peace at the same time. The song showcases Mason’s love for using opposites in lyrics, with verses expressing the “both/and” quality of love. The laid back form minimalist production and evocative instrumentation perfectly complement the song’s lyrical themes, creating a rich sonic landscape.

The next three songs, “Pirouettes”, “A Good One”, “Don’t Worry Darling”, are acoustic demos that have a raw, live quality to them. The sounds of a passing train and an automated telemarketer’s voice from an incoming phone call add an unexpected yet charming touch to the tracks.

The album concludes with Mason’s acoustic cover of “American Teenager” by Ethel Cain, a song that encapsulates the teenage angst, love, and doubt that once existed inside all of us. The song’s stripped-down arrangement allows Mason’s stunning instrumentation to shine, providing a fitting end to the album.

Shelby Mason’s music has always been marked by a maturity beyond her years, but with “Pirate Ships”, she truly comes into her own. This album is a testament to her growth as an artist, showcasing a depth and complexity that sets her apart from her contemporaries. It’s a prominent release that should rival the works of top indie female peers. Mason stands shoulder to shoulder with Phoebe Bridgers, Haley Heynderickx, and Tomberlin who have all made significant strides in their respective careers. These artists, along with Mason, are redefining the indie genre, pushing boundaries and creating music that is both deeply personal and universally relatable.

“Pirate Ships” is a testament to Mason’s ability to evolve and adapt, to grow as an artist while staying true to her roots. It’s a bold statement from a musician who is not afraid to take risks, to explore new territories, and to challenge the status quo. This album is a clear indication that Mason is not just a rising star in the indie music scene, but a force to be reckoned with.

As we look forward to the release of “Pirate Ships” on August 4th, one thing is clear: Shelby Mason is an artist who refuses to be boxed in. Her music transcends genres and expectations, offering a fresh and unique perspective on the human experience. With this album, Mason proves that she is not just a talented musician, but a compelling storyteller, a keen observer of life, and above all, an artist who is not afraid to bare her soul.

Shelby Mason’s “Pirate Ships” is more than just an album; it’s a journey through the complexities of life, love, and self-discovery. It’s a testament to Mason’s growth as an artist and her ability to create deeply resonant music. Mark your calendars for August 4th and prepare to set sail with “Pirate Ships”.