Singer, songwriter, playwright, novelist, storyteller – these are a few labels applicable to Shannon Denise Evans, otherwise known as lead vocalist for the band Savarre. The single “Blood Under the Bridge” touches on her wide array of influences, covering everyone from Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac, Fiona Apple, and Queens of the Stone Age, among others. The stylistic dexterity present in her music is one among many qualities setting her apart from many peers and contemporaries. Its most impressive result, however, is how Savarre merges the voice into a seamless musical experience.
Violin swells and recedes during the song’s introduction. It isn’t until near the one-minute mark when the full band blasts their way through the speakers. The rugged guitar and bass lock together from the outset and its near-staccato riffing builds great energy. A hard rock spirit steers “Blood Under the Bridge” from this point forward but Savarre manipulates it for dramatic effect. The music backs off during the verses, ceding the spotlight to Evans, and it is an effective contrast of light and shadow.
The lyrics are far better than average. Evans has a penchant for lean language, spurning any extraneous words, sharpening its imagery and emotional content. There are no wasted words. It gives each turn of phrase percussive power she exploits throughout the track. The darker elements running through her songwriting could fall into hackneyed cheesiness in the wrong hands. Savarre’s intensity, however, is convincing.
Her voice makes all things possible. The mix affords her the necessary prominence for capturing listener’s attention but, there’s little doubt, her voice will command respect in any setting. There’s a bright theatrical flair in her voice during this song, she never overplays it, and her vigorous phrasing draws listeners deeper as the track continues. She cites a diverse roll call of vocal influences, medieval, blues, rock, baroque, soul when describing her style and at least a smattering of each is audible during “Blood Under the Bridge”.
She refers to the band’s music as Spectra Rock. It’s a clear attempt to carve out a niche all their own in the modern music world. No one will hear Savarre for the first time and later confuse their music for another artist or band. It burns with white-hot individuality while still striking a familiar note for alternative and hard rock fans. Savarre, in the end, is simply fantastic music.
Savarre is writing, playing, and making music on their own terms. There is no doubt whatsoever that whatever success and recognition they enjoy will be the payoff for maintaining their artistic and personal vision. There will be corner cutting or compromises. “Blood Under the Bridge” does not hope for entertaining listeners alone. It has bigger fish to fry. This is a song aspiring to the level of musical art and many willing to give it a chance will agree with that estimation.