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Shannon Ferguson – PHoto Credit: Ellen Ferguson
Shannon Ferguson is perhaps best known in indie rock circles for the celebrated sonic euphoria he created while wielding his trusted Fender Telecaster as a member of the early 2000s New York City-based Longwave.
After several releases on RCA Records and many tours with the likes of The Strokes, The National, and Doves, Longwave left for an indefinite hiatus until recently returning with 2019’s well-received If We Ever Live Forever.
In the intervening years Ferguson remained active as a producer, engineer, and commercial composer for television, multi-media, and film scoring (check out 2019’s Pill Head).
Shifting to the West Coast in the latter half of the 2010s, his work has continued to exist in a place that feels as if it is moving simultaneously forwards and backwards in time, creating music that makes the listener feel as if they’re dialed-in to the soundtrack for a futurist film from a previous epoch – or at least a previous epoch’s dream of what the future may be.
Big Takeover is pleased to host the premiere of Ferguson’s first available solo work with the video for the lucent “Selkies,” a first peek from his forthcoming debut EP, Rooms at Sea, to be released this spring on the Ephemeral Arts label.
An atmospheric abstraction that recalls the liquid guitar melodies that featured prominently as his aural signature (and would not be out of place in his Longwave work), “Selkies” comes wrapped in baritone guitars, distant home-made delays, illusory synths, and with a propulsive, driving backing rhythm that places it firmly between ambience and anthem. An instrumental that defiantly moves out of the sphere of “rock music.”
“When I’ve worked on records in the past there were moments when I had to mute everything and listen to only the guitar and synth tracks,” Ferguson says. “I’ve always been struck by how beautiful that could sound and I wanted to see if I could make a record using only those elements.”
Rooms at Sea explores these ambient textures, giving full creative attention to the hidden surfaces Ferguson has been drawn to over years of close listening.
“Selkies” is accompanied with a self-directed video that altogether aligns with the audio experience, drifting across analog film interspersed with digital expressions that furthers the sense of timelessness of place and era. Images of crashing waves and a daze of graphic designs glide by the eye as the guitar lines glisten and rise in the song.
Rooms at Sea will be available this spring on limited edition 10” vinyl EP, as well as appearing on all major streaming services through Ephemeral Arts.