Shanna in a Dress is readying for the release of her first full-length album. It’s titled Robot and drops on May 27th. But first, for those of you not yet familiar with the artist in question, a bit o’ background.
Shanna in a Dress
Nashville, Tennessee-based performer Shanna Hoar a.k.a. Shanna in a Dress is an American singer-songwriter, and musician. According to her official website, the former Colorado crooner is thus named because she “refuses to wear pants.”
Her rockin’ resume includes one previous live release, a few singles, and a lot of international touring. Her awards include winning the Kerrville New Folk competition and the Great River Folk Fest Song Competition in 2020 and being honored as a Grassy Hill Emerging Artist at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival.
Shanna in a Dress’s signature sound is a blend of folk and pop music. She describes it as “quirky folk-pop from a clever millennial who sucks at dating.”
Robot is a 9-track album of all original material. Here Shanna leads the way on guitar and vocals. She is backed by what she only refers to as an “incredible cast of musicians.”
Track by Track
The album opens on the noteworthy title track, “Robot.” It is perhaps one of her most popular new songs and rightfully so. In a recent email, she discussed the track.
She said: “The idea for the song that inspired the title of the album Robot was born when I was with a friend who experiences life on such a wide emotional range that it made me curious. His pain was SO painful and his love was SO richly deep. His broken-heartedness was beyond anything I’d experienced and his empathy was so beautiful to witness.”
Shanna explained: “I wondered what it would be like to walk through the world as sensitively as he seems to. I wrote the song ‘Robot’ because we joke that I’m missing that chip in my brain that allows for that emotional depth, but once I started performing ‘Robot’ in concert, other people heavily related to it. I realized in some regard we all walk through life on autopilot, unconsciously, in our societally created ‘answer this way when someone says this’ norms and it takes a certain level of awareness to notice you haven’t been taking life in fully.”
She concluded: “That song inspired the rest of the songs – which all came to be from a deep dive into paying attention to little moments or feelings in my life that normally I might sweep away and say ‘it’s fine’.”
The second selection is “Playing with Fire.” It’s an upbeat little ditty and while the musical metaphor is well-known she nevertheless manages to add her sense of individuality to it which serves as its saving grace.
The next number is the intimate “Daddy’s Little Girl.” It is a little sad, melancholic, and yet lovely in its simplicity.
“Everything and Nothing” effectively demonstrates some of the conflicting realities of life. Much like the previous piece, it is both realistic and universal.
The third single, “Sh*tshow”, obviously may not be safe for work but it is funny. (Besides, you should be working at work, so you can afford to buy her album.) It’s a lyrical lesson on liking someone for their good points and loving them for their bad points which they apparently can’t control or hide.
The sixth songful serving is “Finite.” It’s the fourth single off the upcoming album. It’s a quieter, sincere, song about the dualities in a relationship.
Not to be confused with the 2016 JoJo Siwa song, this “Boomerang” is an original track. It’s also the first single from the upcoming album and comes complete with a reference or two that either dates her or demonstrates her knowledge of pop culture.
Also included here is the hopeful soundtrack-ready “Have a Great Day.” It seems like it should be the album endnote. But no, Shanna reportedly has a habit of being spontaneous and not generally doing what one might expect. Besides, she wants to listeners with a smile.
Previously released on her live album, the closing cut is a studio version of her fan-favorite “Mmm, That’s Hot.” This seems to be Shanna’s most popular comedic cut complete with tongue-in-cheek lyrics. She seemingly has a more practical list of turn-ons than your average “Playboy” centerfold.
(Shanna, if taking out the trash, returning your texts promptly, and putting your pleasure first is all it takes to turn you on then we really should do a personal interview … or at least be sure every single woman out there hears the song.) Shanna adds: “Ultimately, I want you to smile at the end of this album, and ‘Mmm, That’s Hot’ is a fierce, funny, feminist celebration of the men that treat women well.”
Overall, the album is a collection of lighthearted, sometimes satirical, and sometimes even intimate songs that are entertaining, personal and yet quite often also universal in both appeal and message. In a recent email, she described it as “a collection of songs [that] is autobiographical, honest, relatable, and takes you on a contemplative, emotional, funny, inquisitive journey.” Shanna is a woman of wit and whimsy with musical talent to boot. So, check out Shanna in a Dress’ Robot and “Have a Great Day”!