NEW YORK’S gorgeous psych-lite caressers The Shacks, the duo of guitarist-producer Max Shrager and singer-bassist Shannon Wise, who know a thing or two about Harpers Bizarre, The Free Design and that semi-mythical Valley of the Dolls, bring all their retro-pop chops – which, it should be noted, are considerable – to a double A release out now on Big Crown especially for the festive season; and they give M Ward and Zooey Deschanel’s She & Him such a yuletide run for their money on the near-perfect five minutes of breathy Sixties pop that comprises “Christmas Time Is Here” and “Got To Be Christmas”.
We had such a hard time humming and hawing over which should get the nod that we did the sensible thing and brought them both to you; the former is the breathiest, most feather-light, magical pop in the Claudine Longet mode, practically a dream; and the second a brandy-warmed indie bossa of St Etienne-meets-Astrud Gilberto provenance, and equally chocolate truffle-delicious.
Wow. Merry Christmas, one and all.
The Shacks’ digital double A, “Christmas Time Is Here”/”Got To Be Christmas” is out now on digital streaming platforms.