Shanna in a Dress
I want to be Shanna’s buddy. She seems to be a painfully honest singer-songwriter from Nashville who describes herself as wearing her shitshow on the outside. She talks about walking barefoot on asphalt and how that makes her feet contrast nicely with her guy’s clean white sheets. Being around Shanna might be a swirl of chaos, but never dull.
Robot is Shanna in a Dress’s first album. It’s a nice collection of pop and singer-songwriter balladry. The thing I really like about Shanna is the humor and insight of her lyrics. The aforementioned “Shitshow” is a bold acknowledgement of her faults (but her boyfriend puts up with it because he gets to see her naked). “Boomerang” is about being trapped in the friend zone. The title track, “Robot,” is a low-key funky song about being emotionally numb. “I’m a robot waiting for someone to move me.”
“Daddy’s Little Girl” is the most emotionally wrenching song on the album. The song makes me think of what the kid in “Cat’s in the Cradle” might have lived. Shanna sings about how her dad made sacrifices for her and how hard being a divorced parent can be. Shanna sings, “I was my Daddy’s little girl. I was his whole world. He gave me everything and I gave nothing back.” Shanna ends the song saying, “I still love my dad.” The funniest song on the album is “Mmm, That’s Hot.” It reminds me of a joke book I used to see at Spencer’s called Porn for Women. Shanna coos about the way her guy “brought in the groceries, the way you took out the trash, the way you remembered to feed the cat.” On the chorus, Shanna sings, “I like it if you look like you’d be a good dad.”
And just to underline that Shanna is a quirky gal with a big heart, in 2021, she did a US tour by bike raising money for charity. Shanna sounds like someone who’d be fun to hang out with. Sure, she’ll try to get you involved in her schemes to make the world a better place. We need people like that.