The Shivers – The Buried Life
Listening to The Buried Life is a little bit like driving out of the city to a tattered old farmhouse to visit a couple of married friends at the end of the day. Which makes sense, given that the band is led by the husband-and-wife duo of Carey Kemper and Kelly Bell.
They split the lead vocals, generally with Bell singing the slower, quieter songs and Kemper picking up the tempo. Musically and lyrically, this is a pretty straightforward record, mostly acoustic with a few electric guitars, mandolin and cello thrown in for color. The vocals, seemingly flat upon first listen, open up and become friendly after a couple times through.
The Shivers have an admirable ability to chronicle the minutiae of everyday life and make it count for something, such as the character who hears the Tumbledown Girl Tumbledown in the morning to your steady job / Stumble back up in the evening / And I heard you fumblin with the lock.
Other strong moments include the highway-travelin vibrato of Cannonball; Bells vocal highlight, Cry of Love; and the vivid imagery in The Wind in Abilene The wind in Abilene is cold, hard and blue / Like the eyes of a girl I once knew …. Comfort will hold you up while the dust blows right through your skin).
The Buried Life is an enjoyable side trip; it wont make your day, but itll help you through it.