Oh Man, Cover the Ground
Shana Cleveland is a rare artist who seems dismissive of time. She's been performing with a rotating batch of musicians tagged as The Sandcastles for over six years, and yet Oh Man, Cover The Ground is their first proper album. It would be easy to chalk up the delay behind the debut to a slacker lifestyle--Oh Man, Cover The Ground's laid-back vibe certainly suggests an extremely casual approach to songcraft. But Cleveland is no slacker. In the years since she first started playing out under her own name, she's helmed a number of other music projects; most notably her revered Girls In The Garage-inspired band La Luz. In her downtime, she's crafted a set of 37 trading cards dedicated to obscure acoustic guitarists and a calendar of drawings depicting rock bands of yesteryear. The glacial pace of Oh Man, Cover The Ground's development has little to do with work ethic and everything to do with doing things in a way that feels right. "I don't really think of it as a proper band," says Cleveland. "The line-up has been different for almost every show depending on which arrangements I thought would be best for the atmosphere. Some shows I played alone; some with bass, clarinet, and backing vocals; some with the addition of drums, cello and piano. We've played shows really selectively throughout the last few years--just sticking to shows that I thought sounded really interesting. Like, I'd rather play these songs for people in their bedrooms or in a field at night than on a three band bill at a bar." In an industry fixated on striking while the iron is hot, getting an artist in front of as many people in as short of a time as possible, Cleveland's insistence on atmosphere over arbitrary numbers is a bold move.That insistence on operating outside of its pressures and tedious reminders has enabled Cleveland to make something that feels, well... timeless. Oh Man, Cover The Ground came together according to its own clock and calendar, and consequently feels removed from the bustle of everyday life. "I think these songs have a lot to do with the weirdness of being inside your own head all the time in the outside world. Sort of an internal monologue of thoughts I have but wouldn't say. It's about laziness, and lust, and wanting to eat other people's food when it looks better than mine." The LP is available in a limited pressing of 1,000 copies on custom Lake Blue color vinyl. A digital download card for MP3 is included.