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Music Review - `I’m Into Now` by Shoebox Letters (ea)

Shoebox Letters - I'm Into Now  (click on image to watch video)

 19 March 2020



Shoebox Letters is a band based out of Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington.  Dennis Winslow, Dave Stricker, Greg Paul, and Stephanie Cox have all earned their keep creating songs and scores for film and television.   They formed in 2009  and have recorded  11 albums since then. They characterize their music as Americana, but occasionally it takes some delightful detours into classic  Power Pop territory.

They recently released an eight-song EP entitled “I’m Into Now.” The album kicks into gear with the muscular title track. Guitars shimmer and twang over a sturdy backbeat. Plaintive lead vocals from Dennis are shadowed by Beatlesque harmonies fromDave Greg and Stephanie.

Humor manages to camouflage the pain of heartbreak on both “I Drink For Two” and “Running.” The former is a slow-burning Country lament that seeks to medicate away the pain; “Now when the night chill comes, I reach for my favorite rum, in the quiet I try to pretend that you’re coming home again.”

The latter is in search of some emotional rescue; “Words that seem so smooth, I can’t even say.” If Tom Petty ever collaborated with the Raspberries it might sound a bit like “Please You.” Blending rustic guitar riffs and a buoyant kick-drum beat each verse is bookended by brawny baritone guitars. Other interesting tracks include the frosty blahs of the “Snowman’s Blues” and the jangly regret of “Last Night’s Lie.”

Shoebox Letters seem to take inspiration from artists like Badfinger, Elvis Costello, and Bob Dylan, distilling it into an exceptionally heady brew.



Music Reviewer - Eleni P. AustinEleni P. Austin - I was born into a large, loud Greek family and spent my formative years in the Los Angeles enclaves of Laurel Canyon and Los Feliz. My mother moved us to the Palm Springs area just in time for puberty and Disco.  I have spent over 40 years working in record stores, starting back in High School.

I wrote music reviews for the Desert Sun from 1983 to 1988. I began doing the same for the Coachella Valley Weekly in 2012.

I live in Palm Springs with my wife and our amazing dog, Denver. 

To Read All of Eleni P.'s Reviews, Click Here





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