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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    SeanShan peps up dance pop


    Los Angeles is blowing up. Chalk it up to youthful unrest but it’s undeniable that there’s a sense of creativity in the area’s musicians that is more prevalent than ever. Acting as the geographic and musical foil to the Sunset Strip, East Hollywood’s Echo Park and Silver Lake neighborhoods are the host to this foray of fresh-faced musicians.

    With a musical movement comes variety, and there are few bands in the scene that embody this notion like dance quartet SeanShan.
    SeanShan’s sound is the derivation of an eclectic group of influences including Parliament, Of Montreal, and Godspeed You! Black Emperor. This list makes perfect sense once you’ve heard the band’s singles.

    Shaneira Jackson, SeanShan’s primary vocalist, provides the cornerstone of the group’s sound, channeling Tina Turner over skittering beats and funk-based bass lines. Songs like “It’s Time” and “We Got Soul” come across as smart interpretations of modern disco with full-bore dance appeal.

    This kind of sound rarely pigeonholes the band, as they’ve been well-received thus far.

    “The East side of L.A. is drenched with many different styles, so the chances of being the odd man out are not too likely,” said Sean Guerin, guitarist and vocalist for SeanShan.

    Guerin moonlights as a sound technician, which exposes him to the many facets of the Los Angeles scene, and also helps to find SeanShan kinship in other groups.

    “We are definitely more ‘dance-esque’ than most, but we love playing with bands who have their own style,” Guerin said. He’s not shy in giving credit to other forerunners of the East Los Angeles movement, either: “Yellow Alex and the Feelings, AV Club, Danger Friends USA!, and Janworm have really impressed me over this past year.”

    As fruitful as the Echo Park and Silver Lake regions are right now, Guerin has also seen a spread northward toward Burbank and southward toward Orange County. He said he’s heard rumors of venues opening up in Burbank, and Backside Records seems to have quite a few shows going on right now.

    “The Galaxy Theatre, in the OC, is the venue they added on to The Constellation Room, making it similar to the Echo/Echoplex. They seem to be grabbing a lot of LA bands down there,” Guerin said. These expansions will likely open up opportunities around Southern California, allowing bands with sounds like SeanShan’s to showcase their talents to a wider spectrum of listeners.

    SeanShan’s audience appeal lies in the uniqueness of their sound.

    “It’s definitely more difficult for us to figure out our audience with our sound being so diverse, but our diverse sound also allows us to appeal to anyone looking for something different,” Guerin said. That ideal is also what allows SeanShan’s catalog to be so infectious. You can’t help but move when listening to them, which evokes a new hope for pop music. Whereas some Los Angeles bands try to inflect a sense of thoughtfulness or operate on an artistic agenda, SeanShan really just wants you to dance, and that’s a welcome change.

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