Shoebox Letters' new EP "Treasure Map" will be available in September 2020. "Treasure Map" features six new songs recorded in Portland, Oregon and Nashville, Tennessee. Shoebox takes a step back from the acoustic leanings of "I'm Into Now" and features more electric guitars. Vocalist Susan Lowery adds harmonies and backing vocals and co-wrote the title track. Greg Paul adds harmonies, backing vocals and steel guitar and recorded may of the tracks. Dave Stricker is on bass. The lead off track "Drinking More Without You" is a song for our times. The isolation leads to more drinking and loneliness. Winslow's Gretsch guitar stabs are at the forefront of this rockabilly rumbler. Second Guessing is the advance track and is available to listen to under the Audio. Below is John B. Moore's review:
Shoebox Letter- Treasure Map
5 October 2020
Say what you will about 2020 (and there’s a lot to say about 2020), it’s been a prolific time for songwriters. The Dennis Winslow-led Pacific Northwest-based Americana/folk band have just released their second record of the year.
Their latest, the six-song EP Treasure Map, is an even more focused, consistently solid effort than I’m Into Now (which was hardly a mediocre record). The opening track, “Drinking More Without You,” easily the best song on the album is a pretty straight forward post-break up song complete with honky tonk guitars and driving drumbeat. Think, Hank Williams in 2020. The title track is also up there as one of the band’s best committed to tape with its organ/synth and backing vocals, sounding like a long-lost Tom Petty song. “First Step,” the slowest number on this EP seems little out of place here but quickly grows on you after a few listens.
While I’m Into Now, had a more experimental, even cinematic feel, Treasure Map is more straight forward rock, occasionally swerving into other genres, but for the most part keeping it simple, putting the vocals front and center. Like their last album, most of the tracks here were all written by Winslow, with Susan Lowery sharing a writing credit on “Treasure Map.”
The album was written and recorded during the COVID lockdowns and it should come as little surprise that themes of heartache, being apart and an unknown of what comes next can all be found weaved throughout the six songs here. Say what you will about 2020 - and god know there’s no shortage of things to say about this clusterfuck of a year – the forced global pandemic has given musicians plenty of time to write some impressive songs.
John B. Moore has been covering the seemingly disparate, but surprisingly complimentary genres of Americana and punk rock for the past 20 years.