Shantih Shantih See the Light

Among our favorite Atlanta music makers since their 2013 formation, Shantih Shantih encompass a bewitching swirl of elements, among them groovy garage rock, hazy dream-pop, quirky neo-psychedelic flourishes, girl group-style backing harmonies, occasional early rock ‘n’ roll-inspired guitar bursts (Anna Kramer’s doing, no doubt) and an overall aura of timeless cool.

Their second album, Someone, Anyone? displays a fuller and somewhat brighter, more conventional sound than the skeletal spookiness that characterized much of their 2016 debut LP Winter in September, and the nervous shuffle of many of Winter’s songs has largely been replaced by a confident stride. That’s good in a certain sense – it’s a more cohesive recording overall. The Spaghetti Western soundtrack influence isn’t as pronounced; instead, singer/guitarist/bassist Anna Barattin pays tribute to fellow Italian beauty Isabella Rossellini on the closing track here. Overall, the sense of ghostly foreign mystery remains, in a matured manner, but I have to admit I do miss the unsettling minimalism they possessed in those early years. They don’t sound as organically strange as they once did – and that strangeness is an element that distinguished them. But those are minor, personal quibbles. Boasting enchanting, off-center intoxications such as “Knocking,” “Radio Dream,” “Gravity,” “Weekend Nothing” and “Suzie Wong,” Someone, Anyone? (is that title some sort of Todd Rundgren salute?) is a terrific album, certainly in the tippy-top tier of anything out of Atlanta this year.

So, you’re gonna wanna go to their album release show. And that takes place Friday, Sept. 27 at 529, with The NEC and Amen Sister opening. Shockingly, Gringo Star is not on the bill!

Photo by Pete Furgiuele.