“I Wanna Be Your Lady” – Shannon Wardrop
With its distorted guitars and spongy bass line, “I Wanna Be Your Lady” has an ambling, vaguely psychedelic feel that seems suddenly like the very thing we need to be listening to, collectively, right now. The song suggests weathered trees and cracked sidewalks, roasty cups of afternoon coffee, heart-breaking daylight, and things made of rugged glass; it reminds us that there may be evil in the world, and stupidity, but that right now you’re probably okay, and that’s worth something too.
A young singer/songwriter from the London area, Wardrop has a rich and elastic tone, and employs it with ravishing restraint, letting her big voice rip only in the final moments. But me I prefer the shimmering implications in her phrasing of “Wanna to be the one you call,” starting at 0:23, particularly the understated oomph she gives to the word “one.” Lots of small moments like that here add up to major delight—another one: the way the droning guitar riff gets a clipped punctuation at 0:44 that kind of sounds like a vocal and kind of doesn’t—and help to turn a song of head-bobbing simplicity into something deep and lasting.
And how great is it that there are young singer/songwriters in the world in 2015 who sound like this? The rejection of digital hubris begins here, with a generation for whom classic rock has warm parental associations, and who seek to move forward musically via simple humanity, sly good humor, and well-informed musicianship. “I Wanna Be Your Lady” is one of three songs on Wardrop’s Cloud 9 EP, her second, released last month. You can listen via Bandcamp. Her previous EP, Medicine, was released in 2013.