Share

Sarah Shook and the Disarmers Years Album Art
2018
| BS 259
$11.95

Years

Years solidifies the point: Sarah Shook & the Disarmers have moved from getting people’s attention to commanding it. The album–with its sharpened songwriting, unique perspective, deepened sound and roll-up-your-sleeves attitude–will grab you by the collar and put a defiant finger to your chest. It is resolute, blunt, and unflinching.

Full Description

When Sidelong, Sarah Shook & the Disarmers’ debut album, was released in early 2017, it quickly earned kudos for its blast of fresh, fierce honesty and sly wit. It was a welcome new voice in a genre too often mired in the staid and conventional. And while that record may have come to many as a surprise, Years solidifies the point: Sarah Shook & the Disarmers have moved from getting people’s attention to commanding it. The album–with its sharpened songwriting, unique perspective, deepened sound and roll-up-your-sleeves attitude–will grab you by the collar and put a defiant finger to your chest. It is resolute, blunt, and unflinching. 

Inspired by artists such as the Sex Pistols, Elliott Smith and Hank Williams, Sarah sings with confidence, control, and, at times, a hint of menace. The Disarmers match her on every track, coloring the tales of resilience and empathy with as much urgency as ever as well as a broader sonic sweep. It’s easy to hear Sarah as a close cousin to artists like Hurray for the Riff Raff and Margo Price on the title track, or in the country-‘60s mod vibe on “Lesson.” “Good as Gold,” sporting a kiss-off line for the ages, “You’re as good as gold/ I’m as good as gone,” is both vulnerable and defiant, soaring with pop-inflected harmonies. And with an expansiveness evoking the wide-open West, “What it Takes” speaks to the truth of the record, to her life, and to the universe.

At its pounding heart, Years crackles with a pointedly contemporary and relevant take on the outlaw spirit. Built around the buoyant pedal steel of Phil Sullivan, and the post-punk rattle and Live at San Quentin hum of Eric Peterson’s guitar, there are echoes of Nikki Lane and Merle Haggard as much as Ty Segall. Its home is the ragged-but-real honky tonk, not the bro-country “honky tonk.” The barroom singalong “New Ways to Fail” is classic, smile-through-the-pain country. “Damned If I Do” could be the “Drivin’ Nails in My Coffin” of the 21st century, if we let it; a perfect song for rolling in the wry and sneaking in a quick two-step. The sinister “The Bottle Never Lets Me Down” will get anyone who’s ever been wronged righteously flipping the bird as they knock back the next shot. Therapy in the face of personal devastation takes many forms, after all.

As Sarah herself tells it,

This record is about finding a way.  A way through exhaustion, depression, betrayal, hangover after hangover, upper after downer after upper, fight after never-ending fight.  It’s about picking yourself up and dusting yourself off after years of being trampled and beaten down, jutting your chin out, head high, after they’ve done their worst, and saying, “Still here.”  

This record is shouting “f*ck you I do want I want” from the rooftops to the mother******g cosmos.

Short Description
  • A hard-nosed, old-fashioned honky-tonk singer and songwriter,  Sarah Shook knows exactly how to make good on an opening line like “I didn’t mean to stay out all night drinkin’.”

    — New York Times
  • You don't need a dark sense of humor to appreciate Sarah Shook & the Disarmers' music, but it helps.

    — The Boot
  • An album about what happens to a woman when her seemingly endless trove of patience runs out... The 10 songs describe how wheels spin in futile relationships until, one clear day, they fall off.

    — Greg Kot, Chicago Tribune
  • With the release of "Years," Shook cements her place among the top trailblazers in Americana...alongside such names as Margo Price, Nikki Lane and Alynda Segarra (of Hurray for the Riff Raff).

    — Raleigh News-Observer
  • This is a great time for female country artists, and few are as defiantly confident as Sarah Shook. Years is a classic in waiting. Her suffering leads to grand music, but that’s the way of country music.

    — Ink 19
  • Taken as a whole, Years is Americana gold with punk rock in its veins and an outlaw spirit.

    — CLTure
  • This isn't sobbing-into-my-drink country music; it's get-the-hell-off-my-couch-and-outta-my-life affirmation. These are songs that don't just make a strong impression; they make a lasting one.

    — PopMatters
  • The sound is unapologetically retro, but Tammy or Loretta never came up with lyrics like "I need this shit like I need another hole in the head." A charming and disarming album.

    — Exclaim (Canada)
  • If anything, it's even more country and less apologetic than its predecessor.

    — Stomp and Stammer
  • An expert distillation of Shook's talents: sly wordplay, gritty arrangements, and vocals that find the sweet spot between country and punk.

    — Rolling Stone
  • Years shows Shook to be an artist who isn't content to sit still, and who's more than capable, too, of growing artistically in a short period of time.

    — Rolling Stone
  • Sarah’s music eschews the polish of today’s mainstream country and hearkens back to a raw, no-frills, no-bullshit approach. She also challenges the conservative stereotypes that country music gets pegged with.

    — Brooklyn Vegan

Track List

  1. Good As Gold
  2. New Ways to Fail
  3. Over You
  4. The Bottle Never Lets Me Down
  5. Parting Words
  6. What It Takes
  7. Lesson
  8. Damned If I Do, Damned If I Don't
  9. Heartache in Hell
  10. Years

Listen

On Tour

Apr
26
2018

@ Pearl Street Warehouse
Washington, District of Columbia

Apr
27
2018

@ Dawson Street Pub
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Apr
28
2018

@ Berlin
New York, New York

Apr
29
2018

@ Atwood's Tavern
Cambridge, Massachusetts

You May Also Dig…