Thayer Sarrano is forging her own path into a southern-psych-dreamland, bottling up ghosts and bringing them to life through her ethereal desert rock hymns. The tones tremble and bend, layered in swirling atmospherics. The angelic voice will pull you in close to share devastatingly beautiful and heartbreaking secrets, while shadowy figures dance in the background. This is music that envelops the listener and may transport you to another world or time, melancholic and haunting, yet bursting with heavenly light.
With her latest release, Shaky, the multi-instrumentalist sounds more than ever like her roots, her places of origin. She grew up in a monastery, and the swamplands of coastal southern Georgia. Classically trained as a child, she always wrote instrumental compositions and poetry, even at a very young age. With chanting forever embedded in her subconscious, she awakened further, now to grunge of the 1990s. Songwriting came when she landed in the vibrant musical community of Athens, GA – where she is now based. She began to collaborate with friends, forming her own band, while establishing herself as a studio/touring session player. She has worked with Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven, T. Hardy Morris, of Montreal, Dave Marr, and David Barbe, among numerous others. In 2009, she released her debut album, King. This collection of songs prompted the magazine Americana UK to dub her “The New Queen of Shoegaze.” Sarrano displayed her skillful musicianship, recording the entirety of this sparse, raw album live in her living room, in just one day. In 2012, she released her follow up LP, Lift Your Eyes to the Hills. It featured more complex arrangements, and included the single “The Bend,” written for the Groninger Museum, located in the Netherlands. The success of that single prompted her consistent touring of Europe in the years that followed and into the present. Sarrano herself produced the record, along with Hank Sullivant (Kuroma, MGMT). The album was released independently, as part of a charitable campaign for Nuçi’s Space, in conjunction with Camp Amped, a teenage retreat for aspiring rock musicians, to which Thayer remains passionately devoted. Of this album, Flagpole Magazine commented: “Featuring heavily spiritual themes, it could have collapsed under its own weight, but Hills manages to maintain a startling lightness of being.” Now, with Shaky, we see Sarrano at her bravest and most vulnerable.