“Deep, dark, and moody. Quite captivating and engaging.”
– Teen-Beat

“Shedd sings in a unprepossessing, hushed voice that recalls everyone from Mazzy Star and Lush to just about half of early-’90s Britain.”
– Magnet

“Tracy Shedd has surely been someone’s best kept secret! Upbeat, bittersweet and intimate lyrics coupled with a musical style quite human and bringing the right amount of balance needed to ensure there’s nothing pretentious about any of it. There is real grit and honesty within her songs that will endear her to you.”
– Subba-Culcha

“She has a simplicity of style that leaves nothing behind, and delivers overwhelmingly honest songs. Tracy’s vocals are now residing in my subconscious, have taken up residence and have also made me very embarrassed with the ability of making me sing her songs in overcrowded elevators.”
– Indie Rock Reviews


In last week’s column, I wrote of my love of female indie artists. The list is long, and includes a variety of songwriters and performers, but absent from that list was a female vocalist I always enjoyed but never took too seriously. She was a competent songwriter and really great singer, but for some damned reason, I let her slip away without giving her much ink. So I dug up a CD she sent me years ago and gave it another listen, and the distance – both physical and in the space of time – has given me a new appreciation for this hard-working and more-talented-than-I-gave-her-credit-for artist. I’m talking about Tracy Shedd. Shedd began “working” as a musician when she was attending high school in Jacksonville in the ’90s in a band called Sella. Soon she was solo(ish), with then-boyfriend/now-husband James Tritten accompanying her and helping manage her solo career. She released moody singer/songwriter alt-rock and played around town. She was popular, and had a great reputation. Again, I liked her voice, but favored the more aggressive approach of fellow Jacksonvillian songwriter Shannon Wright. Man, was I missing out, as another listen to 2008’s Cigarettes & Smoke Machines proves beyond a doubt. The album opens with that jingle-jangle indie guitar that probably turned me off in her early days. But holy crapola, when “Never Too Late” kicks into its Lush-like chorus, I’m sold. I now take full responsibility for practically ignoring her. Shedd has a Suzanne Vega sense of phrasing, which really comes out on the second tune, “Whatever It Takes.” Again, that post-grunge strummy-strum-strum is present, but there’s a depth to the backing guitars I missed the first time around. A kind of reverb-y Tex-Mex melody that elevates the tune. This happens several times throughout Cigarettes & Smoke Machines. Skipping ahead a few tracks, we get “Won Past Ten,” a giddy Sundays-like pop tune that also benefits from a similar guitar treatment and washy cymbal crashes. Shedd’s vocals are wonderfully understated here. Damn, she is good. Really good. But as nifty as these songs are, they pale in comparison to the slow-burn epic ballad “Remember the Time We Set the Highway on Fire?” A plaintive melody opens the song, and Shedd’s voice is lovely as ever, lilting over slow strums and legato bass lines. She repeats the line, “You’re everywhere I go,” several times, slowly, sadly, before the song dive-bombs into an explosive half-time section that’s as thick and dense as any sludgy jam you can conjure. It stands in beautiful contrast to the sweeping melody of the verse and really sets Shedd apart from those I lumped her in with more than a decade ago. I was a fool. The 12 songs on Cigarettes & Smoke Machines deserve more credit than I was willing to dole out when it was released. I am easily exhausted by genres, and I unjustly lumped Shedd in with those post-grunge bandwagon-jumpers. Listening to album-closer “Home” certainly had me hanging my head with not just a little shame. It’s a big piece wrapped up in a small, quiet package and a Lush-like out-chorus. (The comparison to Lush is simply illustrative in nature, as the song stands entirely on its own.) Shedd and Tritten still work together, and Shedd has released a number of records since leaving Jacksonville for various locales. She has lived and worked in North Carolina and Tucson, Arizona, and her latest, Arizona, focuses on life there. It, and Cigarettes & Smoke Machines are available at her Bandcamp site ( If you were a fan of Shedd when she was in town, but have since lost track of her, look her up. If you’ve never heard of her, or want to familiarize yourself with a former Jacksonville songwriter, look her up. If you want to have your mind blown by an album I hastily ignored so many years ago … look her up. ~ John Citrone

STARNEWS ONLINE {February 2015}
Shedd’s album “Arizona” is stripped-down and hauntingly good. It’s personal music that gets under the skin, and as spare as the state Shedd spent a great deal of time in. ~ Brian Tucker

FREE TIMES {February 2015}
Listening to Tracy Shedd perform, one gets the sense that all she’s got is time. Never lazy, her acoustic guitar-driven laments glide along at conservative tempos, rarely outrunning the singer’s own resting pulse. ~ Michael Spawn

THIS WRECKAGE {December 2014}
Back on January 15th of this year, I posted a “review” of Tracy Shedd’s fifth album Arizona, which was released in November of last year. I put “review” in quotes, because it was really some kind of attempt to capture the feel of the album without the usual rundown of hyperbole. It was framed as a letter to a long lost flame from a long time ago, who, rumor had it, was struggling with debilitating depression. It was part album review, part letter in earnest, and part fiction. It felt wrong the moment I posted it, but decided to stick with it hoping that it would seem better in retrospect (you can see the mess here). But, as I listen to this album for about the 3,000th time right now, after contemplating my favorite records of the year (see here), I thought I’d revisit and try to correct – or maybe make things worse. This 2013 album turned out to be my favorite album of 2014. This is in large part due to the fact that it speaks to me in a deeply personal way. These songs are about a good many things, but I have tended to decipher the bulk of these as a message of support to someone in crisis. The song “Control” addresses suicide directly. Shedd pleas to a person on the verge by simply saying to them “don’t end it all tonight.” It doesn’t get more direct than that, nor does it ever fail to send shivers down my spine. This direct communication may be part of why this album has been so powerful for me. Shedd conveys a comfortable environment that’s about appreciating those we love around us (“and I’ll miss you when you’re gone” – “Take a Ride”), and the memories that can carry us through the worst of times (“Boats,” “Million Pictures”), and by giving a genuine heart to heart plea to someone to not throw all of these things away, as in “Control” and “You’re No Fool,” her music and lyrics act as a guiding light to those of us who are genuinely in dark places. She says the things that need to be heard – the things that more often than not are not ever conveyed. How does one broach the subject of depression to their friends and family? How does one ask for help? How does one help someone in need? It’s not as easy as it seems like it should be. This record is not only lyrically direct, but also musically. These songs are stripped down to mainly the twin acoustic guitars of Tracy Shedd and her husband James Tritten. Their interplay is seamless. Tritten plucks out clear, memorable, and fully realized guitar melodies – making the spare arrangements seem greater than the sum of their parts, yet not so much so that the personal nature of Shedd’s lyrics gets buried in the mix. This album feels and sounds like a few really talented friends gathered right in front of you playing amazing songs. Her choice of covers (The Magnetic Field’s early classic “Candy” and Sonic Youth’s breakthrough steamroller “Teenage Riot”) is remarkable as well. These are songs that have always resonated with me and have provided strong memories, yet framed in this sparse environment “Teenage Riot” is like a brand new song. The quiet solitude of the opening “Sweet Talking” is a concise love song that covers the joy of being with a loved one and the hope for it to continue all the way till death in a meager two and a half minutes. Likewise, the beautiful “Sing to Me” balances between both the closeness needed in life and the despair of death. This dichotomy continues on “Friday Night at Einstein’s” – a story about losing oneself on the dance floor (reminding thematically of The Sundays’ flowing “She”) that is both life-affirming and lonely. Elsewhere the lighter touch of the duet “All the Little Things” brightens the overall feel of the record, as does the chorus of the soul searching “Million Pictures,” and the summery and hummable “Broken Arrows,” who’s mantra of “you can die trying / or you can die with a broken heart” is still a rallying cry that resonates and reminds to keep on giving this shit show an effort. This redo plus the strange letter review from January may together make this review a little more complete, but I’m afraid I’m still missing the mark (part of the reason in general why I may give this writing about music hobby a permanent rest). Simply put, and probably all I’ve needed to say is: Arizona is an album that is humble and subtle, but one of great magnitude and impact. I cannot recommend this with any greater enthusiasm. ~ Chris Gilliland

Tracy Shedd goes acoustic and bares all in Arizona – Stripped Down – Tracy Shedd has been making music for well over a decade, but her latest release, Arizona, is an album shorn of the shredded slowcore distortion that’s draped her pretty alto for much of her career. Who knew the girlish coo that glides so easily over the glacial electric guitar-scapes of her first four albums would sound even better against a couple of lightly sketched, finger-picked acoustics, garnished with occasional male harmony? Of course, it’s not such a girlish coo anymore, either. Shedd sounds a bit older and wearier beneath the weight of these very personal songs that generally reflect upon her time in Tucson. Arizona is centerpieced by three incredibly beautiful, delicate songs that exist in a rarefied state, like Laura’s glass menagerie in the Tennessee Williams play. On “Control,” Shedd appeals to a disconsolate friend not to give up on life in such an honest, powerful way that it obliterates a thousand maudlin after-school TV specials. On her cover of the Magnetic Fields’ “Candy,” she sings with perfectly pitched pathos: “I know you’ll find a better man/ They’re all too easy to find/ and I’ll go away somewhere/ And slowly lose my mind.” The coup de grace is “Boats,” where Shedd sings over the most heartbreaking minor-key melody, “All it takes is a little smile, oh I need you more/ Tell your loved ones how you feel, while you still can.” The spare treatments benefit these sweet, bare-wire sentiments that can get in your throat — at least that’s the case for Shedd. “I don’t perform [“Control”], and I can barely perform ‘Boats,'” Shedd confesses from her Raleigh home. “I see people crying, and it’s just, ‘I can’t do this.’ It’s just so personal and especially ‘Boats,’ because my dad is in assisted living. It’s kind of my mom and dad but how I think they need me but I need them more, and it’s just really hard to perform.” Shedd’s mother was a country singer herself and remains one of her best friends. Like many who’ve had a career in the music business, she tried to throw cold water on her child’s ambitions. “She knew it was hard when I was younger and was always afraid, ‘Are you sure you don’t want to get a regular job? It’ll be a hard life for you,’ but I can’t imagine doing anything else,” says Shedd, who performs with her husband, singer/guitarist James Tritten. “We were talking maybe we should open a bed and breakfast, but [I said] that would really just eat into going on the road and music. I want to be that 90-year-old couple at the farmers market playing music.” Tritten played alongside Shedd in her first high school band, Sella. “On and off, he would profess his love and I would be, ‘I don’t want to break up the band,'” says Shedd. “He was my best friend, and, you know, this is not going to work if we date in high school, like, come on.” They separated, did their own thing, and Tritten even considered leaving their hometown of Jacksonville, Fla. But he stayed, hanging on like an age-old John Cusack character. Some years later, Shedd had an opportunity to open for her favorite band, The Magnetic Fields. She knew Tritten had some friends who were drummers and called him to see if he could help her out. That’s when he pulled out the figurative boombox. “He goes, ‘I can play.’ I said, ‘You don’t play drums, you play guitar.’ And he said, ‘I’ll be right over,'” Shedd chuckles, flying her “old softie” flag. “He comes to my apartment with a six-pack of Blue Moon, a hi-hat, and a drum. That’s the end of the story. We were moving to Boston together a year later.” In a way, the seeds for Arizona were sown by the circumstances surrounding her previous release, 2010’s EP88. The Tucson community radio station KXCI had asked Shedd to do some Christmas music. “I forgot how much I love piano,” Shedd says. “That inspired me to write some songs on piano, and I just went from there.” That experience sparked the idea of pursuing Arizona with a stripped-down guitar rather than electric. You can also imagine how the dulcet tones of a piano led her to appreciate the sweet hum of an unadorned guitar. “He said, ‘It’s easier and so pretty if we just drop the picks, everything,'” Shedd pauses, almost to acknowledge a passed friend. “I play classical [guitar] now. You never know, I might go back to electric, but right now I’m really enjoying the acoustic, the tone of it.” Arizona closes with a delicious, slowed-down version of Sonic Youth’s “Teenage Riot,” giving the alt-classsic the air of a distant roar, a sweet nostalgic sound calling listeners back to simpler times. “That’s literally one of my favorite songs,” Shedd says “I can’t think of anything else I love more than to do a cover. Of course, you do it your own way, do something different. I certainly wasn’t going to do it the same way.” That’s quickly becoming her motto for each successive album. ~ Chris Parker

FREE-TIMES {October 2014}
North Carolina vocalist, songwriter and guitarist Tracy Shedd’s mellow mezzo vocals and moody melodies should play nicely in this intimate coffee shop setting. Her simple but polished delivery serves as a wonderful vessel for introspective and engaging lyrics. ~ Jude Fox

INNOCENT WORDS {January 2014}
Few people would argue that music is an artistic expression of emotion; it can be intensely personal, wondrously liberating or exceptionally universal. Sure, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but, musically, some artists manage to hit a proverbial and literal chord that reverberates with lasting endurance within the listener and ‘Arizona’ does exactly that. The niche that Tracy Shedd would have enjoyed has since passed from the waves of popular sound. With the crooning voice and the guitar-picking skills that fall in-line with Sheryl Crow, Shedd would have excelled during the summers of the 1990s bouncing across the U.S. with female-driven engine we knew as Lilith Fair. She is that rare, but powerful, threat of a versatile player of instruments with a golden voice singing words that have grown past simple song lyrics and into the tricky realm of accessible, yet individualized poetry. This isn’t simply an album, it’s a diary of prose set to the beautiful intonations of a talented musician. The words don’t need the music and the music doesn’t need the words, but when Shedd brings them together, it catapults her skills into the No-Man’s-Land of female empowerment. The angst and trials of being female are Shedd’s insatiable muse and she is honest about both the shadows and the sunlight women face in their personal, working and romantic lives. But she cushions the reality with a subtle, untapped sense of comfort that is brimming beneath the surface of her work; it never pops out, but you can always feel it waiting just under the rhythm to hold your hand if you need it. The sound of the music reflects its mood: gentle, with a shoulder to cry on. As she says in “Broken Heart”: “You can die trying, or you can die with a broken heart.” In this sense, ‘Arizona’ has the dual punch of being an ideal break-up and/or make-up album; it can either mirror a slow descent into loss or provide the whispers of encouragement to face another day. Country musician Jamie O’Neal once sang that “there is no Arizona.” Tracy Shedd has not only proven her wrong, but, with her intimate, coffeehouse sound and a shared strength borne from personal and inevitable struggles, manages to make the Grand Canyon State a state of mind that anyone would want to visit. ~ Jeremy Wood

THIS IS BOOK’S MUSIC {January 2014}
Arizona (New Granada) is the latest album from Tracy Shedd and if you’ve heard her music for awhile, you might thing that she has taken a slightly calmer route with this album, which is primarily acoustic. Most fo the songs on the album consists of just voice and guitar, with some of the songs featuring additional accompaniment, from additional guitars to keyboards but nothing becomes vulgarly loud or boombastic. Perhaps because I just got out of listening to Neil Young’s entire 45 year discography, I could easily compare this album to the sensibilities that Young has always shared, which includes keeping things simple whenever possible, being direct by telling stories that will both affect you and make you think. As I’m listening to the album, I tried to imagine how they would sound if they had fuller arrangements, specifically with electric guitars and basses, and of course drums. In that sense, these songs are very charming in a pop and rock aspect. However, this isn’t specifically pop or rock. You might argue that these aren’t really folk songs, that it’s just acoustic takes, but regardless of the schematics, Arizona is an album that is wide and vast, perhaps like the state represented in the title. One might think of just the cities of Tucson, Mesa, Scottsdale, Tempe or Phoenix, but may know nothing about Casa Grande, Huachuca City, or Cochise. Shedd proves there’s so much more to her and her music than meets the eyes and ears, and this is a continuation of the outpuut she has recorded and released so far. A job done very well. ~ John Book

THIS WRECKAGE {January 2014}
Dear K*****, I know it’s been forever and ever. Not sure if this email address even works anymore, so I’m sure I’ll find out soon enough if this gets returned after hitting send. Right now I’m listening to a recent album from the wonderful singer/songwriter Tracy Shedd titled Arizona. I’ve always kind of taken her talent for granted since first learning of her through one of those cheap Teen Beat Records samplers I used to always buy around the turn of the century (do you remember “Circles” from that last mix tape I sent just before I went in for the kidney removal surgery?). All five of her albums are excellent, and yet I’m pretty sure that I’m not listening to them enough and telling everyone I can about them loudly enough. This new one though has really hit me at the right time. Apparently, it is almost entirely acoustic guitars, aside from a from a few little added touches here or there, but I swear I listened this thing three or four times before I realized how stripped down and spare this actually is. I have been so enraptured in her words and voice and the delicate and memorable melodies provided by the twin acoustic guitars that nothing has ever felt like it was missing. Why has it been such a profound listen right now? Well, 2013 was overall a pretty lackluster year. It was filled with my usual health uncertainties, more heartbreak, and just a general distaste, as I noticed in retrospect that many of my old standby hobbies and habits have gone by the wayside. Many of the old comforts don’t really do the trick anymore and I’m not sure why or what to do or where to turn next. I simply know that it’s time to find a new direction and I’m starting to find some solace in that idea. I don’t want this to be about me, except to say that I have serious self-doubt about contacting you again after all of this time and so absolutely out of the blue. But I’m worried about you. Rumor has it that you have not been in a good place of late and I wish to offer you my distant support. And I think Tracy Shedd offers up a notion, in her song “Broken Arrows”: “You can die trying, or you can die with a broken heart,” where I’m not totally sure these are the only options available (besides the dying part), but I’m taking her thought as a kick in the butt for 2014. I’m tired of not trying things I want to achieve for fear of whatever, so to hell with it! Tracy Shedd does a fantastic cover of the old Magnetic Fields song “Candy” that I put on the first mix tape I ever sent you back in ‘93. Do you remember when we last parted? We were listening to the Magnetic Fields’ “100,000 Fireflies” on your turntable, when you gave me a hug and placed a simple rubber band on my wrist to tell me that I should wear one as a reminder that there will always be ‘someone’ out there who cares. Well, that always meant the world to me and sometimes I find myself wearing five or six rubber bands at a time – during those most distressing moments. I don’t think I can ever repay you for that show of support, but my offers of heartfelt music have always been my return gift. Shedd also closes the album with a cover of Sonic Youth’s now legendary “Teenage Riot,” which you never liked, because it was ‘worthless noise,’ while I always argued that the song was ‘artful dissonance.’ I think you’d really like this version though, because she turns the onrush of the original into something slow-paced and clear, putting a focus on its thoughtful distillation of our times – besides Howie Gelb from Giant Sand, who you always liked, sings the song along with Tracy. It’s the bulk of this album though that feels like it should be the metaphorical rubber band as my gift to you – hell, I’ll mail order a copy for you! Tracy Shedd’s words are so perfectly straightforward and free of useless complications. She is direct and lets the power of her phrasing and her beautiful voice and melodies to hammer home whatever emotions she sets out to evoke. She is clearly singing from the point of view of having someone in her life deal with some serious shit – someone who is on the brink, as she boldly sings on the song “Control”: “don’t end it all tonight / you have a life to live.” It is a simple message but her soaring voice drives her worried plea home overwhelmingly. I can only hope that you are not at such a terrible point. Life is often painful, frustrating and extremely difficult to deal with, but it’s something that we all have to do our best to persevere in order to reach those moments of sheer joy and inspiration that make it all feel like we each have value and that are lives are meaningful. It’s music like this album that always remind me that we all go through tragic times and that it’s okay to take comfort in the poetic words of great artists such as Tracy – it’s life-affirming. You have always been a spark and the first person to help your family, friends and anyone you come in contact with. It is time to focus your amazing healing powers inward and help yourself for once and to realize that you will always have someone out there supporting you in spirit. Warmest Wishes, Chris Gilliland

The music created by Florida native and North Carolina resident Tracy Shedd calls to mind the work of fellow singer-songwriter Laura Veirs, plaintive and pretty but also packing a sizable emotional wallop. Shedd’s latest, Arizona, released in fall 2013 via Sunshine State indie New Granada, found her stripping away the studio affectations in favor of a largely acoustic, wholly straightforward sort of slow burn. Featuring contributions from notables Ivan Howard (of The Rosebuds) and Giant Sand’s Howe Gelb, the record highlighted Shedd’s deceptively powerful vocals and knack for incisive phrase-turning like none of her albums had to that point. Shedd has lived quietly but persistently on the indie fringes for over a decade; expect the stunning Arizona to propel her to a more centric space. ~ Gabe Vodicka

IMPOSE {January 2014}
Tracy Shedd prepares her winter tour with Howe Gelb of Giant Sand, beginning January 11 at Washington DC’s The Black Cat through January 18 at Knoxville, TN joint, The Pilot Light. Shedd’s album Arizona is available now from New Granada Records, and you are invited to check out gentle revolt of heartwarming proportions, with her take on Sonic Youth’s “Teenage Riot”. ~ Sjimon Gompers

BLURT MAGAZINE {December 2013}
The Tucson singer-songwriter makes her move to the East Coast, but not before recording a love letter to her old home. No percussion, no distortion, no pounding, no wailing, no fuzz. Twenty years removed from her first high school band and 12 years after her first album for Teen-Beat Records, Tracy Shedd has moved from her slowcore/shoegaze foundation to record a fully acoustic album. It’s a realm Shedd says she’s been drawn to for years, something fans have kept mentioning, and one that fits perfectly for her most personal collection of songs, Arizona, released last month on New Granada Records. “My whole career, it seems like this is what people have been waiting for and it seemed like this was the right timing,” Shedd says. “People like being able to hear more of the voice and it seemed to be the next step for us.” As a duo with guitarist (and husband) James Tritten, Shedd presents a collection of songs that sum up seven years living in Tucson, a distinctly different home than the Boston of her early career and Jacksonville, where she grew up. It’s no surprise that Arizona is a sparse yet intense album. “The whole album, every song except for the covers, was written in Arizona. It’s about my time there, friendships, what I was going through that year. I laid myself out on the table. It’s a very personal album,” Shedd says. “After we recorded it – and I think a lot of artist feel this way – it’s like you’ve just given birth to something and this one felt like that even more. I felt stripped down. It was hard at first to listen. I laid a lot out on the album.” Arizona is a candle flame of an album, mesmerizing, calming, each subtle variation casting its shadows on the listener. It’s an intimate listen, Shedd’s voice closer and clearer than ever, building a connection that draws closer as the album progresses. The decision to go fully acoustic came after Shedd and Tritten toured the country in late 2011. Shedd’s bass player Andrew Wright was moving and her drummer Andrew Collberg was so busy with other projects, so the choice was a practical one at first, cutting touring costs and paring down songs into new arrangements. “‘This is working, we’re getting a great response,” Shedd recalls thinking on the tour, relieved of any doubts she’d had. “I realized it doesn’t matter if I have a full band or if we’re playing acoustic, people love it the same. It gave me the courage. I just really embraced playing the classical.” Mark Robinson, the former frontman of Unrest who put out three of Shedd’s records on his Teen-Beat label, came to a show in Rhode Island. “He’s seen me play a dozen times. I met him in Boston and he signed me there and he said it was the best show (of mine) he’d ever seen. I took that to heart. This is someone who’s seen me every step of the way,” she says. Shedd began writing songs for an acoustic album in early 2012 and soon found she had new challenges to overcome as a songwriter. “It was a different process for me. When I write a song, I sit down and write as it comes to me I don’t touch it. Maybe lyrically I’ll get in the studio and add a word or take something away, but I don’t mess around with the tempo or anything,” she says. “This was different for me. I felt like writing on acoustic complemented the songs. I would strip the song down. I’d write it and then just sit with it for days and tear it apart. I just kept reworking them. I think if I would have written it on an electric and then try to do them acoustically it wouldn’t have worked.” Shedd and Tritten recorded Arizona in Craig Schumacher’s WaveLab Studio, cutting the songs in a quick three days while Neko Case had the studio booked at night. “We were separated. Craig put me into the vocal booth and Jimmy went into the main room, but (Craig) faced us so we could see each other through the glass door. Everything was live. We had the vocal mic and then the two guitar mics and you could hear everything. They had to pay attention to what was outside too,” Shedd says. Not only did Shedd and Tritten play unplugged, but they went without guitar picks. Shedd, who usually records vocals after the main tracks, stuck with the live takes, leaving overdubs to some minimal flourishes of Hammond organ, Mellotron and Fender Rhodes. Arizona includes guest vocals from Ivan Howard (The Rosebuds), Denison Witmer, Naïm Amor and Giant Sand’s Howe Gelb, whose rough, dusty voice counterbalances Shedd’s sweet tones on the album’s closer, an out-of-left-field cover of Sonic Youth’s “Teenage Riot.” “The Sonic Youth came out of nowhere. I had my guitar, drinking some wine, and started playing the chords and it just kind of happened. And then I thought of Howe and that he should sing with me,” Shedd says. “It was really neat to watch the way he recorded. He sat behind the board with his mic, not in a vocal booth. He was just so mellow about it. Meanwhile, he’s texting with Steve Shelly telling him he’s doing a cover of one of his songs.” Arizona’s second cover honors another of Shedd’s favorite bands, the Magnetic Fields. She’d been covering “Candy” for years and felt like this was the time to record it. Arizona’s other highlights include “Ninety-Five to Ten,” a peppy remembrance of friends scattered around the country and the highways that connect them; heartfelt duets “Broken Arrows” (Howard) and “All the Little Things” (Amor) and “Million Pieces,” the album’s least-restrained tune, a rocker hiding in plain sight. After the recording wrapped, Shedd says she struggled to come up with a title for the album. Now resettled in North Carolina, she says the album is so rooted in time and place that she simply had to name it after that land that created it. “Nothing else measured up. This is about my life in Arizona,” she says. ~ Eric Swedlund

MAGNET MAGAZINE {December 2013}
Fully embracing the minimalist nature of the slowcore genre, Florida songstress Tracy Shedd presents a bare bones, midtempo acoustic serenade with “Broken Arrows.” Her new album, Arizona, is a duet with her husband, guitarist/singer James Tritten, and serves as her debut on the New Granada label.

TUCSON WEEKLY {December 2013}
On her fifth album, Tracy Shedd goes acoustic, but these stark arrangements only serve to heighten the intensity of her songwriting. Shedd may have left Tucson, but if Arizona is any indication, the seven years she and guitarist/husband James Tritten spent here made lasting impacts. The stripped-down intimacy of Arizona is a departure only in style, one that beautifully frames her direct and poignant tone lyrically, while making for a fascinating backdrop for her reinterpretations of songs by Sonic Youth and The Magnetic Fields. The most personal songs—”Sing to Me,” “Control” “You’re No Fool”—are a bit veiled lyrically, but whatever narrative gaps exist are still packed with emotion. Shedd writes with imagery of a coming storm on “Boats,” a song that spins sorrow and gratefulness together in a meditation on love and mortality: “Tell your loved ones how you feel while you still can.” The quiet album serves up a pair of jaunty highlights in the middle—an ode to friendship on “Ninety-Five to Ten” and the jazzy “Broken Arrows” (with backing vocals from Ivan Howard of The Rosebuds). The album’s closer is an out-of-left-field cover of Sonic Youth’s “Teenage Riot,” the riot being replaced by a friendly embrace, with Howe Gelb’s rough and dusty vocals counterbalancing Shedd’s sweet tones. Across the 13 songs, Shedd’s voice is closer and clearer than ever, drawing an intimate connection with the listener. Arizona is a candle flame of an album, mesmerizing, calming, each subtle variation casting shadows in the desert night. ~ Eric Swedlund

Last up for this Graveface soiree comes Tracy Shedd whose new long playing set ‘Arizona’ is in fact out via the New Granada imprint, here found assisted by her husband James Tritten as well as he accompanying guest appearances of rosebuds types and Giant Sand’s Howe Gelb who as it happens supplies vocals for what is a simply stunning dreamy and mellowing re-framing of Sonic Youth’s ‘teenage riot’ which you can hear here – ~ Mark Barton

TERRASCOPE {December 2013}
OK, back to the CD’s with a beautiful and reflective collection of acoustic based songs from Tracy Shedd entitled “Arizona”. Full of confident and emotional melodies, the tunes are backed by excellent lyrics that convey a strong storytelling feel, the open and expansive ambience giving the listener a sense of place and purpose. Add to this a rich and compelling voice and you have an album that will reward several listens drawing the listener into its charms. Highlight for me include the bitter sweet love song “Sing To me” the tune having the feel of Townes Van Zandt in its delicate power, the slightly jazzy “Ninety-Five” and an excellent cover of “Teenage Riot” turning the tune into a wistful acoustic ballad that features Howe Gelb on backing vocals and piano. The strength of the collection though, is that it flows as an album best enjoyed in one sitting, take the time and enjoy.

Over the course of 5 full lengths, Tracy Shedd has more than established herself as a uniquely talented musician with a knack for songwriting that is honest, engaging, and heartfelt. Yet, although her music has always been intimate, it’s never before been laid bare quite to the extent that it is on her latest album Arizona. Recorded sparingly with finger-plucked acoustic guitars by Shedd and her husband James Tritten, it’s incredibly minimalist. The album’s first single is the stripped down track “Broken Arrows” which is built solely from crisply strummed acoustic guitar, softly whispered harmonies, and Shedd’s own lovingly cooed vocals. The result is a bright and springy tune that calls to mind If You’re Feeling Sinister-era Belle & Sebastian both melodically and in wry sentiment: “You could die trying / or you could die with a broken heart.” The new album (which features covers of songs by Sonic Youth and The Magnetic Fields) has been getting a lot of love in our home. We definitely recommend checking it out. ~ Matthew Hickey

YAB YUM MUSIC AND ARTS {November 2013}
Sometimes it takes a little distance to really gain the perspective needed to write about one’s hometown. At least, it certainly seems that way for Tracy Shedd. After leaving her longtime home of Tucson for North Carolina, the singer-songwriter released her first acoustic and most introspective album to date, aptly titled Arizona. The album opens with “Sweet Talking”. Fans of Shedd will immediately recognize a difference from previous releases. Shedd is joined by guitarist (and husband) James Tritton and guest vocals were provided by Ivan Howard (of The Rosebuds) and Dennis Witmer, Naïm Amor, and Howe Gelb (of Giant Sand). You can preview a couple tracks from Arizona, including Shedd’s cover of Sonic Youth’s “Teenage Riot”. The full album is available from New Granada Records.

Amid the modest number of artists New Granada Records has gathered in its label stable, the most recent acquisition is Florida-bred, N.C.-based songstress Tracy Shedd, whose thoughtful, pretty sadcore odes on fifth full-length Arizona are stripped back to the bare essentials: voice (Shedd’s gentle, dulcet pretty intones and light guest harmonies by The Rosebuds’ Ivan Howard and Howe Gelb among others), acoustic guitars (her own along with the plucked and strummed melodies of husband James Tritten), and occasional sonic embellishment (like the piano and Omnichord melodies in her re-imagining of Sonic Youth’s “Teenage Riot”). ~ Leilani Polk

Tracy Shedd has a Sonic Youth cover where she takes what might be the band’s first big single – “Teenage Riot” – and flips it on its head, turning it into a sparse, acoustic-driven meditation that still shines with all of the melodic and emotional weight of the original composition. The cover is at the very end of Shedd’s new album – Arizona (out now via New Granada Records) – but those sonic sentiments are painted all over each of the LP’s 13-tracks. Whether it’s the sticky sweet lyrics on “Sweet Talking” or “All The Little Things,” the picture she paints on “Boats,” or the brutal honesty she delivers on “You’re No Fool” (sample lyric: “Oh if I’m gonna sit down and listen to this/I’ll need a stiff drink to get me through”), Shedd is a master of taking bare bones, catchy melodies and marrying them with a near perfect, obviously calculated mish-mash of pretty sentences and folk guitar to deliver mini-stabs to the heart and mind. To longtime fans, Arizona’s almost exclusively acoustic makeup will come as a minor departure from the sound Shedd – a Jacksonville, Fla.-native – has cultivated over the course of a dozen years and four full-lengths, and while nary a cut on her new album features any of the fuzz and sprawling guitar passages or subtly lavish arrangements from Shedd cuts like “Remember The Night We Set The Highway On Fire” or “Blue,” the whole of Arizona is still anchored in her special gift for songwriting. Yes, “Friday Night at Einstein’s” is colored with a heartstring-tugging flute part, and several guests (most enjoyable are Dennison Witmer’s haunting background vocals on “Boats”) make their contributions utilizing an array of wurlitzers, omnichords, and second guitar parts, but Shedd remains the heart of the operation. “There’s a certain ‘non-complicated’ directness with her music that makes it very accessible,” New Granada head honcho Keith Ulrey told SubAp! in an email, “I love it.” He’s right, and all of that stripped down beauty kind of comes to a head on “Ninety-Five,” which sits smack dab in the middle of Arizona’s tracklisting. The track – clocking in at just two-and-a-half minutes – is pretty much the album’s shortest offering, but by the time Shedd tosses her angelic coo over the finger-picked arrangement, the full weight of Arizona’s spell falls upon a listener’s ear, enchanting you for the duration of the LP’s 18-minutes. ~ Ray Roa

STOMP AND STAMMER {November 2013}
Tracy Shedd has quietly assembled an impressive run of solo records – and her fifth is the quietest of all. Arizona is the first album Jacksonville native Shedd fully conceived since relocating to Tucson with her husband, guitarist James Tritten, and the desert air has put her in a tranquil mood. Shedd has long been enamored with the power of stasis – her love of cleanly played minimalist patterns made three of her first four albums an ideal fit for Teenbeat Records, best remembered as the home of Unrest. She flirted with dreampop atmospherics on 2006’s Louder Than You Can Hear and dabbled in girl group structures on the excellent Cigarettes & Smoke Machines. Five years removed from Cigarettes, however, she’s shed all percussion – stripping the proceedings down to little more than her enchanting voice and Tritten’s gently plucked guitar. The result is intimate and lovely. Shedd seems intent on establishing this sedate mood, front-end loading her gentlest songs to the point that their hushed beauty verges on monotonous. However, she gradually increases the tempos (“Broken Arrows”) and introduces subtle flourishes like organ and a few male backing vocals to keep these thirteen tracks sufficiently multi-dimensional. And the core strengths of her haunting voice and Tritten’s hypnotic guitar are constants. An album this understated needs a calling card, and Shedd punches this ticket with a pair of attention-getting covers. She’s not the first to tackle the Magnetic Fields’ virtually bulletproof “Candy,” but sadly she adds little to the equation. Shedd fares far better on her duet with the Patron Saint of Alternative Arizona, Howe Gelb, on a piano-laced re-crafting of Sonic Youth’s “Teenage Riot” that transcends any novelty overhang. If that’s what it takes to draw you to this minor gem, by all means go for it. Otherwise, consider whether your collection has room for a disc that slots between pre-electronica Everything But the Girl and Young Marble Giants. Fans of Mark Kozelek would also approve. ~ Glen Sarvady

ORLANDO WEEKLY {November 2013}
New music from criminally overlooked talent Tracy Shedd – After releasing the excellent but overlooked 2008 album Cigarettes & Smoke Machines, this Jacksonville native effectively disappeared. Now the slowcore dignitary steps back into the spotlight on esteemed Tampa indie label New Granada. And though it features some heavyweight help from the Rosebuds’ Ivan Howard, Denison Witmer, Naïm Amor and Giant Sand’s Howe Gelb, Shedd’s re-emergence is a momentously dressed-down one. Her fifth LP, but acoustic debut, is free of percussion, distortion and almost anything digital. Amid production so unobtrusive and naturalistic, she fortunately has the spacing, melody and expression to carry the atmosphere in an understated and plaintive, but warmly affecting way. Unlike before, her lovely but unassertive voice is now in the fore. And as standouts like “Sing to Me,” “You’re No Fool” and her cover of Sonic Youth’s “Teenage Riot” demonstrate, it proves a worthy guide. Even in such a nude state, Arizona reaffirms Shedd as a criminally overlooked talent. ~ Bao Le-Huu

A dozen years after launching a solo career with Teen-Beat Records, multi-instrumentalist slowcore songstress Tracy Shedd — now repped by Tampa’s own New Granada — presents a fifth full-length of acoustic duets with guitarist/husband James Tritten. The album includes new material as well as Shedd’s re-imaginings of works by a few of her faves (“Candy” by The Magnetic Fields and Sonic Youth’s “Teenage Riot”). ~ Modern Virgin

Tracy Shedd also shows off her formal songcraft skills, adding in a touch of ’50s pop vocal flair to the precise acoustic strumming and melodicism. ~ Stephen Carradini

ALL MUSIC {November 2013}
With her fifth album, Arizona, indie songstress Tracy Shedd trades in her signature sound of peppy, electric slowcore pop for a completely acoustic set of hushed, introspective numbers. Even at their most robust, as with songs like the moody “Million Pictures” and the upbeat Portastatic-esque “Ninety-Five to Ten,” the atmosphere stays low and subdued. Shedd is joined on most of Arizona by her husband, guitarist James Tritten, as well as a host of backing vocalists and supporting musicians like Denison Witmer, Rosebuds member Ivan Howard, and Howe Gelb. In addition to her 11 original compositions, Shedd offers up a jaunty Magnetic Fields cover and an unexpected acoustic reading of Sonic Youth’s “Teenage Riot.” ~ Fred Thomas

Twenty years after taking her first steps recording vocals for Sella, a high school band from Jacksonville, FL, and twelve years succeeding the launch of a solo career with Teen-Beat Records, Tracy Shedd has delivered the most honest, forthright, and insightful album of her career. Arizona, Shedd’s debut with New Granada Records and fifth full-length recording, presents the slowcore songstress with guitarist, James Tritten, as an acoustic duet. As Shedd reports in the opening lines, Arizona is a walk “down memory lane” and “may take you by surprise,” but leaves you with a yearning to be “near the ones (you) love.” Tracy Shedd’s competence displays a wisdom far beyond her years, and is evidence to her growing popularity as an American songwriter. Arizona is a true album, documenting Tracy Shedd’s own experiences of life in Tucson, AZ. Like your family’s own photo album that gives proof you were once carefree in your Underoos, and brings back that first love through prom photos, Arizona recalls a time of growth for Shedd in The Old Pueblo, with many life-lessons. Arizona is Shedd’s gift to us: her consciousness, her principles, her judgment, and her understanding of life. Ghettoblaster recently caught up with Shedd to discuss the record and this is what she said about it. When did you begin writing the material for your most recent album? The winter of 2011 my husband and I went on a month U.S. tour with a drum machine/iPhone app, 2 electric guitars and a Roland Piano. We got such a great response with the music being simplified and decided to take it even further. After the tour at the beginning of 2012 I started to concentrate on writing solely on my acoustic guitar. We have always wanted to tour Europe and this made sense two acoustics, two plane tickets, done. Now we need to get that European tour booked. What was the most difficult song to take from the initial writing stage through recording and mixing? Why was it so troublesome? The actual writing and recording was easy for me. The entire album was recorded in less than a week. I guess the hardest part would probably be after recording the album and sitting down to listen to it. I felt a little naked albeit I am proud of it and wouldn’t change a thing. Which of the songs on the record is most different from your original concept for the song? “All the little things” started out with me ooohing between the verse and the chorus and I had an idea, literally a week before we went in the studio for my friend, Naïm Amor to sing sort of a call and response in French. I’m so happy with the way it turned out. Did you have any guest musicians play or sing on the record? Yes, I am so lucky to have such talented friends who were willing to sing some backup with me. As mentioned above Naïm Amor sang on all the little things. Denison Witmer on “Boats”, Howe Gelb on “Teenage Riot” (Sonic Youth cover) and Ivan Howard (The Rosebuds) on “Broken Arrows” and “Sweet Talking”. Who produced the record? What input did that person have that changed the face of the record? I produced the album. Craig Schumacher and Chris Schultz from Wavelab studios definitely helped me keep my eye on the ball by not adding too many tracks and helping me accomplish my vision? Is there an overarching concept behind your new album that ties the record together? It’s a collection of songs that I wrote that documents some of my time living in Tucson Arizona and it’s from the heart Have you begun playing these songs live and which songs have elicited the strongest reaction from your fans? We have played a few shows with the new material and have a small southeast tour coming up next month. As far as strongest reaction from fans: As soon as I sing the lyrics from “Boats”– “I’m there for you, but I probably need you more than you need me“ — I usually get a few tears from the crowd and me. Haha. I guess it’s a good thing that my songs make people feel something. ~ Timothy Anderl

No guitar picks, no tricks. Singer Tracy Shedd goes acoustic on her new full-length Arizona, a collection of songs about living in Tucson. With husband Jamess Tritten on guitar she get to the heart of the matter. This is a classic unplugged album. Every bittersweet note counts. With a great selection of backing vocalists – Ivan Howard (The Rosebuds), Denison Witmer, Naïm Amor, and Howe Gelb (also on piano) adding a bit of oomph to the surprise Sonic Youth cover Teenage Riot. However, it’s the husband/wife team who steal the show. They baked that great cake, all the other stuff is just the icing.  Shedd has been in the business for 30 years, but never went for the less-is-more approach, favoring the electric option. Sure, there is some hiss on the recordings, but cleaning things would have killed the vibe. Just a bit of well applied echo on the vocals on tracks like Control and the lead single Broken Arrows, or the lonesome flute in Friday Night At Einstein’s will do to fill out the sound. Best enjoyed during breakfast in bed. ~ Hans Werksman

THIS IS BOOK’S MUSIC {October 2013}
Arizona is the forthcoming fifth album from Tracy Shedd, and this time she is working with New Granada Records for the release. The 13-track album features 11 original Shedd songs along with her cover of Sonic Youth’s “Teenage Riot” and Magnetic Fields’ “Candy”. Outside of it being her fifth album, it is Shedd’s first all-acoustic album and will feature contributions from Howe Gelb, Ivan Howard, Denison Witmer, and Naïm Amor.  Pre-orders for the vinyl and CD pressings are happening right now. Only 500 copies of the LP will be pressed, all on white vinyl to match with the cover art. Vinyl pressing can be ordered here, compact disc can be ordered there. November 12th is the scheduled day of release, but you may listen to one of its songs (“Broken Arrows”) right now. ~ John Book

LOBOS EN BOLOS {October 2013}
Tracy Shedd has been on the scene for over thirty years, yet her music sounds as fresh as ever. The Florida native plans to release Arizona, her fifth full-length recording, on November 12. Shedd’s new album is simple yet beautiful. It is her first acoustic release, and there really isn’t much instrumentation aside from a guitar and a few guest vocalists. “Broken Arrow’s” relaxing pulse gives us nice preview of what’s to come. As always, you can listen to the single below. ~ Alphawolf

BEATS PER MINUTE {October 2013}
The pensive and intimately acoustic narratives that singer Tracy Shedd finds herself immersed in on her upcoming album, Arizona (out November 12th via New Granada Records), can sometimes be difficult to successfully maintain, as it’s very hard to hide anything in the stripped down folk aesthetic. But despite the superficial limitations of the genre within which she works on her new record, Shedd has managed to impart an honest vulnerability to these songs, while still sounding spirited and independent. But her interest in the more acoustic side of music has been a recent infatuation. She initially made a name for herself with Teen Beat Records, plying a more gauzy slowcore sound. But with Arizona, she steps into the ranks of such artists as Damian Jurado and Mark Kozelek — a fierce singer and songwriter who effortlessly draws stories from her own experiences as well as those she imagines. Working with her husband and lead guitarist James Tritten, the duo strips these songs of almost everything digital and even make a point to forgo picks and handle the stringwork by hand. But Shedd and Tritten aren’t alone in their musical venture; they’ve brought along Ivan Howard (The Rosebuds), Denison Witmer, Naïm Amor, and Howe Gelb (Giant Sand) to help fill out the ranks. And for the first time on any of her LPs, she has included two covers, “Candy” by The Magnetic Fields and “Teenage Riot” by Sonic Youth, which stand strong among the originals her write for the record. On her latest single, the jangly acoustic “Broken Arrows,” Shedd weaves her haunting voice within strands of insistent guitar and brings in Howard to back her up on the vocal harmonies. But unlike some introspective songwriters, she never allows “Broken Arrows” to stay stationary or wallow in any presupposed maudlin attitudes. The song moves along at a brisk pace, casually tossing out memorable melodies and lines like “I’ll keep my heart close to you/I’ll keep my dreams close to me” without it ever sounding cloying or overly sentimental or saccharine. She sings “you could die trying/Or you could die with a broken heat” with such an understanding and expressiveness that there’s no doubt the song is culled from personal experiences and an ache that is lodged somewhere deep in Shedd’s heart. Beats Per Minute is pleased to premiere the new single, “Broken Arrows,” from Tracy Shedd’s upcoming album, Arizona. ~ Joshua Pickard

CATFISH VEGAS {April 2011}
I go back and forth about whether it’s that playful, catchy guitar hook or the “Oooh Yeah Yeah Yeah” chorus that really kills me about “New Guy.” It’s both elements in tandem that make the song so obviously a beach tune – an energetic ball of carefree pleasure that you might as well put on repeat for a little while. But like great pop songs since the early days, that party vibe carrying the music is used for lyrics that point in a whole different direction – in this case the fits and starts of possible new romance, even though the old flames aren’t necessarily out: “I know it looks like I’ve moved on, but I’ve needed someone else since you’ve been gone” Wet & Reckless is basically a Los Angeles band, but it’s the Tucson roots of bassist Jessica Gelt that allow Fort Lowell Records to stretch its definition of local music just a bit. On the B-side is an entirely different vibe, on which Tracy Shedd manages to invert the inverse that “New Guy” uses so well. Here is an almost spooky sounding song about a night out dancing. Moody and slow, “Tear It Up” breaks the mind free from the body, bringing about a slow-mo, drugged-out cinematic feel. And that mandolin… ominous and chilling, like a beast circling, closing ever so slowly on its prey. ~ Eric Swedlund

SYNCONATION {November 2010}
The combination of a rocker girl-quartet and moody singer-songwriter on a single may seem like a strange match. But it just takes a listen to get it. The songs on this split 7″, New Guy by Wet & Reckless and Tear It Up from Tracy Shedd, are girl anthems for love gone wrong, told in chronological order. First you have New Guy. It’s the tough-but-tender teenage tomboy–the one who plays some kick-ass guitar and is gorgeous because she’s not trying to be. She’s still navigating the rules of relationships. Wet & Reckless plays it a little flip, sometimes cutting, invariably charming. Then Tear It Up comes along–she’s grown up a bit, taken some Comparative Lit classes and had her heart broken a few more times. Tracy Shedd’s sound is mellowed and haunted–a perfect way to come down from the high of the new guy. These songs provide the musical bookends of a girl’s heart, which seems kind of perfect. LA-based Wet & Reckless features Jessica Gelt on bass, Deanna deVries on drums, with guitar from Whitney Blank and Emily Wilder, also the band’s lead singer. Their sound is immediately winning–giving listeners the satisfying sharp edges of punk and harmonies with a breezy Beach Boys vibe (think Pet Sounds, not Kokomo). This is a nice contrast to Tucson, AZ musician Tracy Shedd, whose sweet, achy style is evocative of Laura Viers. Shedd brings a more somber sound to the split, but it‘s far from morose. Her lush guitar chords blend with Kane Flint’s mandolin, creating a forest of sound that you don’t mind being lost in. Aside from their shared label, another interesting connection between the two bands is the video for Shedd’s City at Night, which was directed by Wilder and designed by deVries. In their short but sweet split 7”, the bands manage to make heartache look cool and a little graceful. ~ Flora Fair

7 INCHES BLOG {October 2010}
Google will tell you Wet & Reckless is some kind of lesser DUI charge and a lot of people seem interested in working out it’s legal definition online. In this case it’s a four piece out of LA and the A-Side of a split from Fort Lowell with Tracy Shedd. Wet & Reckless is rocking a sloppy, jangly indie guitar sound all under toe of that girl group ooooo’s chorus sound of decades earlier. The hint of vocal reverb and tambourine/snare combined with a Built to Spill sound of bent warbling guitar strings. It’s optimistic pop punk, granted lyrically it isn’t all sunshine “Fill my boots /with heavy rocks….I was built / to go down, down, down” but It sounds like a contemporary combination of that side of the country, minus the deliberate fidelity challenged sound. Their working with a kinder gentler indie sincerity…informed, I’m sure, by the sunny west coast. But damn, does Seattle have to pay for your weather? Do you ever even get sad? This just sounds like the sickening idea I have of the Pacific…the sun, beaches, wax on wax off, harmonizing….well adjusted. Just don’t expect me to sympathize with your happy go lucky ways. We have seasons in Brooklyn! Tracy Shedd with “Tear it up” on the other side appropriately takes things in that mysterious noir side direction of the surf city. This is what happens at night when you have a population isolated by their cars, and little separate houses with picket fences….you get introspective…you drink…and are all alone. Maybe it’s the vocal quality though that I’m reading into…a bit Sarah Dougher, or the Spinnanes delicate haunting rock sound. It’s definitely at home on a lynch set, velvet curtains, singing into a lightbulb. Or it’s the slow strum of the tremolo electric with harmonic mandolin working into a dreamy Mazzy Star feel. It’s a bi-polar roller-coaster ride of flipping sides. I’m always into the color vinyl FL presses, this one is blood red, and the dual sided monochromatic printed sleeves…the usual great package from the Fort of singles that is Lowell. ~ Jason Dean

HERE COMES THE FLOOD {September 2010}
Fort Lowell Records are reviving yet another concept from the days of yore: a split 7 inch double A-side single. LA based girl-group Wet & Reckless have contributed a rambling garage track about a New Guy, that sounds like a Maureen Tucker post-VU outing, albeit with better vocals. The new guy means trouble for the band, just like the old guys did before, but it might be a new kind of trouble worth pursuing. Singer=songwriter Tracy Shedd unveils Tear It Up, a soft-spoken song that packs a punch: “Will you go out on the dance floor and tear it up for me?” she asks. Kramer of Butthole Surfers and Galaxie 500 fame, mixed and mastered the track. He did a fine job balancing guest musician Kane Flint’s mandolin and Shedd’s guitar. ~ Hans Werksman

THIS IS BOOK’S MUSIC {September 2010}
At first I thought “oh, Tracy Shedd getting “wet & reckless”? Right on!” but then when I played the record I realized that it was a split record between Shedd and a group called Wet & Reckless. “New Guy” is their song and it has a slight riot grrrl feel, at least of the lo-fi variety where some might here the ashes of Bratmobile in their sound. I liked it and wish to hear more from them. Shedd gives us “Tear It Up” is a song where she looks for someone who will be with her during the good times, all done in a song that sounds anything but like a song to tear it up to. I like the way it works, so when she sings “and will you go out on the dance floor and tear it up for me”, you expect it for to be on some weird Andrew W.K.feel but instead you see grey skies, brown trees, and feel no warmth. Perhaps it’s the eagerness of the return of the warmth (take that as you want) that makes you feel the optimism sought after in the song. In other words, a perfect song for the fall season. ~ John Book

SEVEN NOISES {September 2010}
The new and third release at Fort Lowell Records it’s another 7 inch limited to 500 copies, this time being a split single between Los Angeles pop quartet Wet & Reckless and Tucson’s Tracy Shedd. It’s also the first time they put out a band that’s not from Tucson and it’s their most feminine single to date. On the A side, Wet & Reckless sing about a New Guy while the music has a retro Beach Boys feeling on the edge of many girls bands nowadays but with their own personality. Tracy Shedd’s Tear it Up is a more melancholic and slow number, sweet with the mandolin arrangements. This single is presented as if it was an imaginary study of the myriad approaches to singing about boys, as it is mentioned on the press sheet, and is a good introduction to the sound of both bands. The two tracks on the record have been mastered by legendary producer Kramer (Low, Galaxy 500). ~ David Rodriguez

Multi-instrumentalist Tracy Shedd was raised in a music-friendly home, complete with piano lessons and a public-address system in the living room on which to practice Patsy Cline music. She found punk rock as a teen and morphed into a singer-songwriter with a love of distortion and artists that, in her words, “drape their vocals in various shrouds,” à la My Bloody Valentine, Cocteau Twins, and the Jesus and Mary Chain. Shedd’s latest offering (on blue vinyl!) is EP88, released on Eskimo Kiss Records. A split 7-inch with Los Angeles’ Wet and Reckless is due out in the fall on Fort Lowell Records, which is owned and operated by her guitarist and husband, James Tritten. | What was the first concert you ever saw? Pigface at the Milk Bar in Jacksonville, Fla. What are you listening to these days? The Mary Onettes, The Soft Pack, The Radio Dept., The School, The Magnetic Fields and Kings of Convenience. What was the first album you owned? My first CD was Ride, Nowhere. My first tape was either George Michael, Faith, or Pet Shop Boys, Actually. What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone seem to love, but you just don’t get? I can’t think of one. To each their own. What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live? Pale Saints. Musically speaking, what is your favorite guilty pleasure? ABBA. What song would you like to have played at your funeral? Henry Mancini’s version of “Moon River” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. What band or artist changed your life, and how? Sonic Youth. They are one of the reasons I started collecting vinyl and writing music. Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time? With a gun to my head, My Bloody Valentine, Loveless, for sure! ~ Kristine Peashock

LITO MUSIC {March 2010}
{Language: Spanish} Hace un tiempo hablábamos por aquí de Tracy Shedd con motivo de la publicación de su disco Cigarettes & Smoke Machines, cuarto de su carrera, pues bien, ahora volvemos a referirnos a ella, ya que recientemente ha salido a la venta su nuevo y extraordinario trabajo EP 88. Se trata de un disco de 5 temas, editado en vinilo azul de 10″, con el que además se incluye un código para su descarga digital. Lo primero que llama la atención es el giro que experimenta su sonido, dejando un poco de lado sus habituales guitarras para centrarse en el piano, con unas melodías suaves y sumamente delicadas. Además del piano, en la instrumentación destacan otros elementos para los que ha contado con la colaboración de algunos músicos de Tucson, como su marido James Tritten (guitarra), Becca Hummer (bajo, viola y chelo) y Michael Hummer y Tasha Sabatino con la batería. Abre el Ep una canción llamada City At Night, la cual nos pone sobre aviso de lo que el disco nos va a ofrecer, música sin sobresaltos, llena de sensibilidad y de momentos emotivos, una canción con la que Tracy nos acerca a paisajes otoñales y en la que nos muestra sus sentimientos y emociones. Pero es justo a continuación cuando llegamos al que es, en mi opinión, el momento álgido del disco, y es que nada más escuchar las primeras notas de How Your Eyes Affect Me, sentí la necesidad de dejar de hacer cualquier cosa para centrarme en escuchar esa maravilla disfrutando con cada uno de los sentidos. Es sin duda una canción deliciosa, con una melodía irresistible, perfectamente complementada por la dulce voz de Tracy. Tres temas más completan el disco, Tokyo Rose, West Inn Love, en el violín adquiere especial protagonismo y la encargada de cerrar el disco, Husbands & Wives, con la que, de una forma bastante intensa se pone punto final a este espléndido trabajo. ~ Manuel Camuñez del Castillo

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Tracy Shedd has become a singer/songwriter of note, with a lot of promise. I first heard of her two years ago with her album Cigarettes & Smoke Machines! (which I reviewed in The Run-Off Groove #217) and late last year she released a video for “City At Night”, which is now the opening track to a new EP she simply calls EP88 (Eskimo Kiss). I love when she sings “how your eyes affect me when you’re sleeping so peaceful/when you wake up, I’ll listen to all your ideas” in “How Your eyes Affect Me”, one imagines a couple in love, looking for and finding more than what lies on the surface to believe in the happiness they now share. In these songs, the arrangements are kept to just vocals, pianos, bass, and maybe some synths. It’s only until the end with the closing song where the drums come in to dust off accumulation and to show that she can rock it out when necessary. I bring up the singer/songwriter thing because she’s very eloquent in how she brings out what are no doubt personal stories to share with the world, and she’s an artists who deserves everyone’s attention. She has a discography worth exploring, and a quality to her music that will keep people wanting to hear more. ~ John Book

Tracy Shedd, a singer-songwriter with a strong sense of melody and lyrics, has turned from indie-pop arrangements to a more contemplative sound, featuring keyboards and strings. Her “City at Night” is a standout. ~ Maggie Golston

TUCSON WEEKLY {March 2010}
Tucsonan Tracy Shedd switches from guitar to piano for a new EP that explores a somber and more delicate sound, reveling in the lightly swaying melodies. EP88 is five songs that go well with a relaxed twilight, hushed and moody, but satisfying, like a slow stretch. Building the album around the piano also pares down the reverb and feedback, which pushes Shedd’s smooth and dreamy vocals to the forefront. “City at Night” begins with a lyrical image that could reflect a familiar Tucson—”the dust in the background, the cascading lights”—but suggests her Jacksonville, Fla., hometown as it continues, “the docking boats, with nowhere to go.” That sense of reaching back is a recurring theme; the EP’s cover features shoreline and fishermen (her father’s livelihood). While built mostly on a lush bed of piano and strings, the EP doesn’t abandon the guitar (played by Shedd’s husband James Tritten), which can suddenly drop its complementary role to flare up in a storm of buzzing feedback. “How Your Eyes Affect Me” is a slow-burner that starts with an intertwining piano and guitar before adding a steady drumbeat and clear, bright vocals that draw out lyrics of yearning and passion. The intensity peaks on album closer “Husbands and Wives,” which stretches to nearly seven minutes as Tritten’s wild, droning guitar keeps circling, frantic and feverish. ~ Eric Swedlund

you may remember tracy from a split with one am radio. what you have here is here melancholy pop music. there is a piano, and hints of ida in there at times. very very nice. late night music. includes a download code. ~ andy

Her music is melancholy, even haunting at times, but Tracy Shedd was relaxed and smiled freely on a recent afternoon. She doesn’t smoke, so the table was cleared of its ashtray, and before long she leaned back in her chair. She sipped a to-go cup of tea and said it was good to be in her hometown, Jacksonville. Shedd’s music career was shaped and grew strong in Jacksonville, and has continued favorably in Tucson, Ariz., where she’s lived since her husband, James Tritten, took a job there about three years ago. Tritten also plays guitar in her band. Her latest endeavor, “EP88,” will be released Tuesday on Eskimo Kiss Records. It’s named for the number of keys on a piano, reflecting her expansion from guitar to piano-driven songs. Longtime fans, knowing her as a self-taught guitarist who played by ear, may find the switch unexpected. But it will likely be welcomed. The five new songs on “EP88” differ from those on previous albums like “Cigarettes and Smoke Machines” and “Louder Than You Can Hear,” but are still unmistakably Shedd’s. There’s her hushed voice, the pensive lyrics and the moody melodies in “slowcore” style. “That’s just what comes out,” Shedd said about the moodiness. She shrugged, not sure of why. That’s just what happens. It had been years since she played piano as a child, but she recently picked it back up and relearned how to read music. Then, for a while, she was fixated on the piano, writing songs on it for the first time (hence, the new extended play release). Now, she’s thinking about a new guitar-driven album, maybe with some piano mixed in. And maybe with some accordion. A tour is in the works as well, and she’s planning a show in Jacksonville this summer. “I’m ready to rock,” she said. “Sometimes, you just need to have more energy … I’ve been really excited about getting back to guitar.” Laughing, she said she has a hankering to write something upbeat, but it’s too early to tell what will come out. “It’s in my head right now, happy stuff,” she said. Back in 2001, Shedd told the Times-Union she held a data entry job to pay the bills, and lamented: “We all have one – all artists do, anyway, unless they’ve made it.” When asked if that’s still the case for her, she sighed with relief, like a hiker unloading her pack after carrying it all day. At 35, she no longer needs a day job and has a home studio. It’s a luxury she doesn’t take for granted. Living in Tucson is temporary, but she’s enjoying it for the moment, she said. She described the city as surprisingly similar to Jacksonville. “It has that big city, small town feel that reminds me of Jacksonville,” she explained. So the culture shock hasn’t been bad, but Jacksonville will always be home, she said. ~ Heather Lovejoy

POWER OF POP {February 2010}
On her previous release, Cigarettes & Smoke Machines, singer-songwriter Tracy Shedd combined classic country-folk flavoured rock with a pinch of British post-punk edge. The new EP88, continues in this vein somewhat, with Shedd focusing on the piano as her main instrument and husband/guitarist James Tritten evoking the spectre of Joy Division, Echo & the Bunnymen and New Order. Which makes for powerful, memorable mood-rock music, which sits comfortably in the seemingly polar genre settings. With melodies derived from a more traditional source, backed by atmospheric strings (guitar and violin), songs like the haunting City At Night, the driving Tokyo Rose and the pleasing West Inn Love will stand up to repeated plays. Highly recommended. ~ Kevin Mathews

LEONARD’S LAIR {February 2010}
Based in Arizona, Tracy Shedd released the highly impressive ‘Cigarettes & Smoke Machines’ at the back-end of 2008. With an equal admiration for grunge and lovelorn ballads, it was a stylistically adventurous album but consistent in its good quality. Next up is a five-track EP based around piano, the place where she began her musical education as a six year-old. ‘City Of Night’ is a spare ballad; its hushed intimacy and hopeful melody proving that sometimes the most simplistic arrangements are the most effective. ‘How Your Eyes Affect Me’ enlists husband James Tritten’s on nagging guitar duty to accompany Shedd, with her voice yearning and pulling at the heartstrings again. ‘Tokyo Rose’ and ‘West Inn Love’ fare less well. They seem to be building up to good songs but then when you grasp at the hook which drives them, they slip away from view as they finish too quickly. This just leaves ‘Husbands & Wives’; by some distance the longest track and without question the most dramatic as well. It builds on a threatening post-rock drone and is sweetened by Shedd’s beautifully clear voice. Shedd’s new EP may lack the variety of the previous album but the songwriting remains top notch. Furthermore, she has revisited her past with the added benefit the of her maturing years, yet she’s still able to evoke childlike awe in her plaintive tones. ~ Jon Leonard

RESPONSE POSTED in March 2010: As a songwriter, Tracy Shedd brings audiences her emotional nuance of an “old soul” – delivering, with each song, the grace and power of her amazing vocals and powerful musicality. Her latest release, EP88, is ambitious, unconventional and explores her profound lyrical imagery. She has the ability to offer her long-time fans the wistful, introspective lyrics they have grown accustom to – while bringing a new instrumental from which to channel the “rock” assertiveness she offers in her previous albums. While I agree, that many of her tunes end too soon -I must say, that it is from the desire to want to hear more…I can only bring an analogy to describe this – Imagine a firefly…trapped in a mason jar as a nightlight – the firefly is released in the morning…letting her – weak and weary – fly into the daylight and live on to tell of overwhelming success of living through (what most might believe) the most confining times of her life. Many fans relate on many levels to the stories that Tracy Shedd’s lyrics and music undertake. May we all appreciate her for allowing us to feel less than alone and for giving us the ability to persevere – whatever it takes.

SNOBS MUSIC {February 2010}
On February 23rd, multi-instrumentalist Tracy Shedd will be releasing a new piano-based EP entitled EP88. The vinyl-only release is being limited to 500 pressings. To tempt you to get in on the very limited experience you can check out the video for the first single “City At Night.” ~ Peter Kearns

COAST IS CLEAR {January 2010}
{Language: German} Tracy Shedd – Die erträgliche Leichtigkeit des Seins. Winterliche Klänge sind nach wie vor angebracht, und so bringe ich heute mal was für die langen Winterabende am Kaminimitat – Tracy Shedd, eine Sängerin aus Arizona, zaubert auf «City at night» , der ersten Single ihrer neuen EP «EP88» (erscheint auf Eskimo Kiss Records), zerbrechliche Töne aus den Boxen und erinnert mich mit ihrem Piano gar ein wenig an Saint Etienne (in ihren ruhigen Momenten). Sehr schön! Und ein Gratis-Download noch dazu. Ihr Album «Louder than you can her» verschenkt sie derzeit ebenfalls in mp3-Form – das sollte man sich nicht entgehen lassen. ~ Pjotr “Peter” Emm

MURUCH {January 2010}
Tracy Shedd – “City At Night” – Beautiful piano ballad from Tracy Shedd’s new EP EP88. ~ Muruch

PENINSOLAR {January 2010}
For over a decade artist Tracy Shedd has continued a steady and consistent career at crafting exquisite and elegant pop songs. Never comprising her ideals or integrity as a songwriter she continues to propel music at steady momentum from Tucson, Arizona with her latest release EP88 (Feb23) on Eskimo Kiss Records. It will be released on a very special 10’ blue vinyl for international consumption and showcases some rich and intuitive ideas with piano, angelic vocal milieu, and as always the very talented Mr. James Tritten manager/husband on hypnotic and entrancing guitar lines executed with such a linear passion. First single will be the gorgeous “City at Night” showcasing with such validity Tracy’s piano and vocal talents. Directed by the highly skilled director Emily Wilder (Echo Productions, Echo Park , Los Angeles ) the video shines with captivation. Other highlights include the lovely and conceptual “Tokyo Rose”, the grandeur of “How Your Eyes Affect Me” (also performed live in Tucson at the Rialto) and my personal favorite the enthralling epic and propelling force “Husbands and Wives”. “Astonishing work by great artists.” ~ Ian Hopkins

Singer-songwriter Tracy Shedd used the piano as her main instrument for her new EP88. With husband James Tritten riding shotgun on guitar, the couple play up a gentle storm of lush melodies. The big numbers are the drawn out Husbands & Wives, with meandering guitar striking up a conversation with the percussive piano motives, and West Inn Love, with the added glow of a lonesome cello. Beautiful and bittersweet, the only flaw of this collection is it running time. Only five songs, but it makes a nice companion for her 2008 full length Cigarettes & Smoke Machines. ~ Hans Werksman

DAS KLIENICUM {January 2010}
{Language: German} im oktober 08 hatten wir erstmals über tracy shedd berichtet. auch da waren wir eher spät dran. denn die dame aus tucson hatte zu dieser zeit bereits einige stationen ihrer musikalischen karriere absolviert. da sie sich nun anschickt, auf eskimo records den “ep88” genannten neuling herauszubringen, wollen wir in sachen promotion gern noch einmal in die bresche springen. der gewinn? nicht weniger als diese unprätentiöse, auf den song konzentrierte, mit leicht herber stimme vorgetragene musik. nicht mehr. nicht mal ‘ne promoscheibe. aber das nur am rande. dass sich tracy nun vornehmlich dem piano widmete, zeugt von einer dicken portion mut, aber auch wandlungsfähigkeit und unberechenbarkeit. ein erstes zeugnis ihrer arbeit ist nachstehendes video zur ersten single aus dem im februar erscheinenden 5track werk. diesmal auch was fürs auge bei den bewegten bildern. ~ Eingestellt von E.

KETELMUZIEK {January 2010}
{Language: Dutch} Mooi nieuw werk van Tracy Shedd. Zo af en toe tref ik iets leuks aan in de mailbox van Ketelmuziek. Zoals een nieuwe EP van Tracy Shedd. En daar doe je mij altijd een plezier mee. Tracy Shedd maakt al jaren prachtige albums. Haar eerste CD’s voor het illustere Teenbeat- label waren heerlijk minimaal en introspectief. Als ik nu weer ‘ns naar haar album Blue luister valt me op hoeveel de plaat schatplichtig is aan Tracy Thorn’s A Distant Shore. Tracy Shedd is in de loop der jaren muzikaal gegroeid. Dat was al te horen op Cigarettes & Smoke Machines, dat ze in 2008 uitbracht, maar ook zeker op EP EP88. Onhandige titel, zeg. Naast de gitaar is er nu een belangrijke rol voor de piano weggelegd. EP88 bevat vijf sfeervolle songs, stuk voor stuk prachtig opgebouwd, met een hoofdrol voor de bezwerende vocalen van Shedd. Mij ontgaat het volledig waarom het deze dame niet lukt een breder publiek te vinden voor haar muziek. Aan Ketelmuziek zal het zeker niet liggen. EP88 komt overigens volgende maand uit bij Eskimo Kiss Records.~ Hon Orsel

CATFISH VEGAS {January 2010}
The Decade in Music, Part 2: Favorite Tucson Albums – 10. Tracy Shedd – Cigarettes & Smoke Machines (2008) – Shedd’s dreamy, languorous vocals and buzzing, feedback-prone guitars were in effect well before she moved to Tucson, but her latest record definitely goes down as her best so far..~ Eric Swedlund

JACKSONVILLE.COM {November 2009}
LISTEN HEAR Music Video of the Week: Tracy Shedd may be living in Tuscon now, but she got her musical start in her hometown of Jacksonville. Looks like she’s releasing an EP early next year on Eskimo Kiss Records, and this video is a teaser. You can get some free (legal) downloads of live tracks at and keep up with her on Facebook. Congrats on all your success, Tracy! ~ Heather Lovejoy

Singer/songwriter Tracy Shed caught people’s attention with the release of her 2008 album, Cigarettes & Smoke Machines! (as reviewed in The Run-Off Groove #217.) She will follow it up with EP 88, a 5-song EP that will be released in early 2010, and this is a sliver of what’s on there, a track called “City At Night”. The video was directed by Emily Wilder. ~ John Book

CATFISH VEGAS {October 2009}
Tucson’s very own Tracy Shedd has just wrapped up a video for a new song, “City at Night,” from the forthcoming EP88, out early next year on Eskimo Kiss Records. If this first single is any indication, the record will be a more somber, piano-based sound.~ Eric Swedlund

Tracy Shedd – “Whatever It Takes”. Whenever I’m a little down, playing this song really loud always seems to make things a bit better. It’s so upbeat and positive, with a great sound. Oh, and I’m pretty sure it’s about a serial-killer.~ Michael Phillips

MAGNET {February 2009}
Chances are, you’ve heard something similar to Tracy Shedd before. Surrounded by guitar tones that vary from stark to stratospheric (depending on the mood), Shedd sings in a unprepossessing, hushed voice that recalls everyone from Mazzy Star and Lush to just about half of early-’90s Britain. But for all the comforting pangs of nostalgia bubbling to the surface, the energy and craft found in her road-ready songs keep Cigarettes & Smoke Machines firmly grounded in the present. There’s simply no resisting the Missouri River-wide hook of opener “Never Too Late,” where an initially grim atmosphere melts away with Shedd’s double-tracked voice in a sunnily anthemic chorus. Elsewhere, the Tucson, Ariz., transplant shows her new home’s influence with “Not Giving Up,” a dry acoustic shuffle with big-sky guitar that hints at Calexico (whose frontman, Joey Burns, appears as a guest musician). Cigarettes & Smoke Machines falters when Shedd drifts into monochromatic balladry, as with the pretty-yet-meandering “Paris” and the brief, nondescript “Valentine,” but such lapses are quickly forgotten in the face of its brightest moments, particularly “Won Past Ten.” Powered by a bubbling guitar figure and a gleam of youthful innocence, Shedd indirectly answers any possible criticism with the question, “When was the last time that you felt like you were 17?” Point taken ~ Chris Barton

POP MATTERS {January 2009}
Tracy Shedd comes off as a more riveting singer on her fourth album than on previous ones, and it seems as much about the arrangements and production as about her singing, there being more moments in the songs where she really lets go. The smoke references in the title fit the tone, which is anxious and moody, both created by careful placement of voice and instruments, like lingering guitars that eventually rush forward dramatically. When that happens the album feels very ‘90s college radio, though Shedd’s presence in the album overall is fresher, more in the moment. Loneliness, or at least the absence of someone, is a big theme, though never is there wallowing. After all, the first song’s chorus is, “it’s never too late to fight for what you want.” Still, the last lyric on the LP, sung with noisy guitars hovering, is, “it’s not home without you here.” ~ Dave Heaton

BERKELEY PLACE {January 2009}
A 2fer post. First, a 2008 release I missed out on, but wanted to write a little something about. Tracy Shedd makes elusive pop songs that are simple and direct. Her ’08 release, Cigarettes & Smoke Machines, sounds like it’s title: A little raw, slightly nebulous, and perfect for poker. ~ Ekko

Lately I’m really digging Tracy Shedd’s Cigarettes & Smoke Machines. It’s music that sounds sad, but her lyrics are actually pretty “up,” as “up” as I like to hear. Also, Cigarettes & Smoke Machines is just a fucking cool album name.~ Unknown

FEMINIST REVIEW {January 2009}
Once preferring her words blended amongst the instruments, Tracy Shedd has allowed her voice to be the leader in her new album, Cigarettes & Smoke Machines. Shedd demonstrates a very clear message of independence, of taking things into your own hands. Tracks such as “Whatever it Takes,” “Never Too Late,” and “Not Giving Up” speak to the listener in a way that tells them they can, and should, do whatever they feel is best, regardless of the situation that traps them. Shedd’s songs are empowering because she dissuades the listener from feeling trapped or helpless and promotes the message that you have the power to change your life accordingly to create your own path to happiness. “Never Too Late” is an inspirational track, kick-starting a type of chanting in the chorus, in which Tracy repeats, “And it’s never too late to fight for what you want.” Cigarettes & Smoke Machines, with its haunting guitar riffs and overall melodramatic sound, is an album of personal strength and guidance under the wing of vocals reminiscent of Patsy Cline and Bilinda Butcher of My Bloody Valentine. ~ Elyssa Lovelyss

LUNA KAFE {December 2008}
Tracy Shedd has a cool, soft voice and a nice sound on her new album. The yearning opener “Never Too Late” approaches a classic eighties indie sound with warm vocals and a catchy tune. “Hardest Part of Goodbye” is a soft pop song with some great melodic touches. Shedd’s vocals are utterly gorgeous and remind me of Juliana Hatfield. “Not Giving Up” is a rhythmic song that puts emphasis on Shedd’s sweet singing. “Go On” is a suggestive, confident song that Shedd does very well. She has a classic but not derivative indie sound, and uses it well on these intelligent, thoughtful songs. Shedd’s a talented singer and this is a good album. – Anna Maria Stjärnell

ARIZONA DAILY STAR {December 2008}
Singer-songwriter Shedd brings a collection of rainy-day, understated ballads that are determined to find soul in the searching. – Kevin Smith

TUCSON LIFESTYLE {December 2008}
As with Marianne Dissard’s latest, Joey Burns also shows up on the new CD by Tracy Shedd, Cigarettes and Smoke Machines (Teenbeat Records). Proving that this Tucson-based signer/songwriter has what it takes to make the big time, the album eschews the search for the next trend or the gimmichy single and carves our a path that shows signposts of everyone from Penelope Houston to Neko Case, while still cutting a new path. Things kick off with the gently rocking “Never Too Late,” which spotlights the haunting quality of Shedd’s voice, as well as a production that’s as clean as an operation room, and loaded with sharp instruments (check out the fuzzy guitar fills for a demonstration on how to add – flawlessly – a bit of ominous tension to a song). When Shedd sings, “she’s a killer / one day she’ll meet her match” (on “Whatever It Takes”) you’re pretty sure that the songwriter could handle her own with anyone she runs into. “Hardest Part of Goodbye” is a slowly building tune that sounds like it was written very late on a sleepless night, and would perfect soundtrack material for an indie drame. It’s no surprise that the album, produced by the Old Pueblo’s own Craig Schumacher, fits together like a puzzle, with the pefect instrumentation and arrangement on each song, and just the right amount of echo to give a visceral punch. There’s also a real feel for the element of surprise on this CD (listen to the way guitars creep up on you during “So Sick”). These are songs you navigate like a driver follows a mountain course, hanging on to see what the next turn will bring you. – Scott Barker

TUCSON WEEKLY {December 2008}
LIVE REVIEW. Love–the kind that makes you want to sway and smile and hold a stranger’s hand–was in the air the night before Thanksgiving at Solar Culture, offering one heck of a way to commence an extended holiday break. Two husband-and-wife teams started things off. Local (but well-traveled) singer/songwriter Tracy Shedd and her husband, Jim Tritten, produced catchy melodies while Becca and Michael Hummer formed the flawless rhythm section on bass and drums. Shedd’s latest release, Cigarettes and Smoke Machines, is the album hard-core Liz Phair fans wish she would have written instead of going the more-commercial route. They opened with a polite reminder that it’s “Never Too Late” to fight for what you want. Jim tested the structural integrity of the wall behind him as he passionately shredded his way through the hard-hitting “Whatever It Takes.” His energy–a little out of place during laid-back parts of their set–was perfectly appropriate during the fuzzed-out drama of “Remember the Time We Set the Highway on Fire.” – Mel Mason

FOLIO WEEKLY {November 2008}
Traces of Tracy. Ten years gone, a Jacksonville songwriter finds her home in the desert. Growing up in Orange Park, singer/songwriter Tracy Shedd’s career was influenced by her country-singer mom and the bands she saw at local clubs. The 34-year-old moved from Northeast Florida 10 years ago and now lives in Tuscon, Ariz. with her husband and lead guitarist, James Tritten. Shedd, who’s ‘90s girl-rock sound has been compared to Liz Phair, recently chatted with Folio Weekly to discuss her fourth full-length album, “Cigarettes & Smoke Machines,” out on Teenbeat Records. Folio Weekly: How did this whole mess of a career in music begin? Tracy Shedd: I started playing music at 16 in a band called Sella. It was indie rock. We played Einstein A Go-Go and Milk Bar – probably every bar in town that we could get in to. F.W.: Your mother was a country music singer and you studied classical piano throughout your childhood. How did those experiences affect your sound? T.S.: I definitely think being raised in a music-friendly home helped me. My mom was always supportive of the arts and music, and she let me take piano lessons when I was 6-years-old — all the way up through high school. I played trumpet and violin. Actually my grandfather played guitar too. … My mom would set up in the living room with her PA system, and I would go in there and sing Patsy Cline. F.W.: Did Jacksonville shape your sound as well? T.S.: I think a big influence was going to Einstein A Go-Go. We all went there when we were kids. It was just a club [where] we would go and dance and be introduced to new music. When you’re 14 or 15, it’s really cool to learn about bands like The Smiths and The Jesus and Mary Chain. To just go dance and not drink or smoke – even though we probably did smoke. I think that helped a lot of us get into the arts. I have a lot of friends that went into the arts, and I think that club definitely helped shape young kids. F.W.: How does “Cigarettes & Smoke Machines” differ from your past three albums? T.S.: With this album, I was able to team up with Craig Schumacher. He’s produced a lot of albums like Neko Case, Calexico, Iron and Wine. The list goes on. I met him through a friend when I first moved [to Tucson]. Craig and I definitely clicked right away. I was so excited. I didn’t even have a band yet because I had just moved here. It’s kind of magical how it all came together, and I definitely give Craig a lot of credit for that. F.W.: Any plans to move back to Jacksonville? T.S.: No. We ended up falling in love with the desert and just for now, it’s working out for us. For my career, I’m able to do music full-time for the first time ever. F.W.: Your sound is compared to Liz Phair. Is that an accurate comparison? T.S.: Yeah, I see why people say that. I get Suzanne Vega, Liz Phair. I used to get Cat Power and Helium a lot. I don’t get that as much. I would definitely say Liz Phair. I could see why people would say that because we both have lower voices. F.W.: Where do you want to be in the next five years? T.S.: I’ve been writing on piano a lot ,and I’ve already written eight new songs, so I’m looking to record the next [album]. I would be happy to have my music nationwide. – Kara Pound

HEY TUBE {November 2008}
{Language: German } Die sphärische Musik von Tracy Shedd und ihren Mitmusikern übt einen magischen Reiz aus und ist in der Popmusik einzigartig – es ist artifizielle Musik, die zum Träumen und zur Besinnung einlädt, gibt es nun zu hören. Deshalb bin ich bezaubert von Tracy Shedd. Das liegt vor allem daran, dass die Songs der Musikerin aus Tucson in Arizona so direkt in den Körper fahren wie ein Bienenstich an einem Hochsommertag. Fast schmerzhaft schön ist diese Stimme, und die Songs piken in die Seele. Es ist die Einfachheit, vielleicht auch das ein wenig Spröde, das sich Verweigernde, was in der Musik der jungen Sängerin und Gitarristin, die nebenbei auch noch das Piano und den Synthesizer bedient, fasziniert. “Cigarettes & Smoke Machines”, die neue Platte der Musikerin, ist ein Exempel dafür, wie glanzvoll einfache Musik klingen kann: Zwölf Stücke sind darauf zu hören, oft nur von Piano, Bass oder Akustikgitarre begleitet. Zerbrechliche Songs voller Intensität, Musik, die ganz aus der Zeit gefallen ist, sich aber auch ganz nah ans Herz des Hörers schmiegt. Stücke wie der Opener “Never Too Late” oder “Whatever It Takes” kommen ganz ohne Kitsch und romantische Emphase aus. Das angeraute, unsentimentale Timbre einer PJ Harvey oder Suzanne Vega ist in Hörweite. Ein bittersüßes Inferno, wie ich finde. – Horst

SPEED OF DARK {November 2008}
Tracy Shedd comes on like a mix of Suzanne Vega, Liz Phair, and Laura Viers on her brand new second album Cigarettes & Smoke Machines, released in September. Like those other ladies, her songs have a tough spine underneath a glowing softness. These should make you want to look up the rest. This is her fourth album since 2001, and she has an EP with the One AM Radio as well. – Alt-Gramma

HAVE YOU HEARD {October 2008}
The combination of soaring, melodic guitars and fluid vocals will take you somewhere in Tracy Shedd’s Cigarettes and Smoke Machines. Full of longing, desperation, and determination, it sounds like a broken relationship putting itself back together. The opening track, “Never Too Late,” immediately engages the listener as she sings, “It’s never too late to fight for what you want.” Her lyrics are simple, but touching and easily relatable, and her vocal melodies compliment the instrumentation brilliantly. Throughout the album, the guitars and vocals are having a dialogue. The guitars echo the passion in her voice and in her lyrics, as we can hear in tracks like, “Whatever It Takes” and especially, “Remember the Time We Set the Highway on Fire?” where her use of repetition works very well as she sings “You’re everywhere I go/You’re everywhere I go,” followed by haunting guitars that sound like they are on fire. Her voice is similar to Jenny Lewis from Rilo Kiley or Andrea Zollo from Pretty Girls Make Graves, but you can also hear the influence from bands like My Bloody Valentine and The Jesus & Mary Chain in the instrumentation. She brings something new to the table, though, and you can hear how much of herself she pours into this album. Also, Cigarettes and Smoke Machines flows really well, with a great mix of mellow songs like the melancholy “Hardest Part of Goodbye” and the more upbeat, pop songs like “So Sick,” and the nostalgic “Won Past Ten.” Basically, this album is exactly what you need for long, solitary drives when the leaves are changing, rainy days, and hangovers. – Sara

Newly resident in Tucson after a recent move from Florida singer-songwriter Tracy Shedd professes a love of My Bloody Valentine, The Jesus & Mary Chain and The Cocteau Twins. I can only assume that it’s the underlying melody that appeals to Tracy rather than the wall of noise, feedback and nonsense lyrics of her favourite bands as it’s melody that’s to the fore of her latest. and fourth, album ‘Cigarettes and Smoke Machines’. Despite the occassional foray into dangerous Dido music territory (‘Paris’) and a disappointing reluctance to really let herself go the album’s melodic guitars and intimate, sensitive vocals strike a perfect balance between elegant serenity and artistic depth that recalls Suzanne Vega at the peak of her powers, Bettie Seervert and The Cardigans at their most mellow. In an increasingly common act of artistic generosity you can also download Tracy’s previous album for free from her Myspace site. – The Devil

CMJ BLOG {October 2008}
I’m a fan of Tracy Shedd’s music, an emotional indie songstress with a love for distortion, inspired by hubbie-guitarist James’ excellent guitar shredding and shedding of riffs. I animated a couple pics that let you catch an optic whiff of his full-frontal guitar attack. Only years of practice and playing together will let one experience such craftiness and rocking. From Boston to Tucson, Tracy Shedd is an accomplished artist, soon to be discovered by y’all. – Jefe AKA Johnny Chiba

LITO MUSIC {October 2008}
{Language: Spanish} Otro de los discos aparecidos recientemente es Cigarettes & Smoke Machines, cuarto álbum de Tracy Shedd, que salió a la venta el pasado 23 de septiembre a través del sello discográfico Teenbeat Records. En él se dan cita 12 canciones pop-rock con intensas guitarras, no exentas de ciertas dosis de distorsión, suavizadas gracias a la dulce voz de Tracy. Aunque ya había publicado algún single unos años antes, su álbum de debut se publica en el año 2001, el disco llamado “Blue” consigue llamar la atención gracias a unas canciones intimistas por las que recibe comparaciones con grupos como The Spinanes o The Softies. Dos años después vería la luz su siguiente trabajo, “Red”, en la misma línea del anterior, con bonitas melodías, en las que nuevamente combina perfectamente la delicada voz de Tracy y una instrumentación que en ocasiones es más relajada pero que a veces se vuelve intensa, como sucede en el tema “Conley”. Tras este, vendría “Louder That You Can Hear” (2004), el cual tiene disponible para su descargar gratuita desde su página oficial, así que no desaprovechéis la oportunidad de haceros con él. Os dejo ahora con algunas de las canciones pertenecientes a sus álbumes, que las disfrutéis. – Manuel Camuñez del Castillo

SUBBA-CULCHA {October 2008}
Brilliant! The beating heart of street poetry in perfect dance with the wavering music of its soul. Tracy Shedd has surely been someone’s best kept secret? I find it more incredulous than shameful that this is the first time I’ve heard her name, never mind her music, and it’s her fourth album! Her debut was released in 2002 – which is pretty much six calendars worth of time she’s been around for now, and is still quite unknown in an industry whose very existence depends on people, just like this, to keep things fresh. Upbeat, bittersweet and intimate lyrics coupled with a musical style quite human and bringing the right amount of balance needed to ensure there’s nothing pretentious about any of it. There is real grit and honesty within her songs that will endear her to you. In several years time this album will be known as the one that inaugurated the era of Tracey Shedd. – Alan Baillie

THE TRIP WIRE {October 2008}
I threw Cigarettes and Smoke Machines on while I was doing work around the house. For some reason, I thought Tracy was Colbie Caillat, the MTV Cribs darling who seems to be just dying to have her songs attain the lofty heights of placement on One Tree Hill, or whatever teen drama is hip at the moment. To these ears, Shedd sounds very much like Suzanne Vega covering Bettie Serveert. If that’s your cup of tea, pull up a chair, as the 90s homage doesn’t stop there: check the neat lift of The Church that is “Not Giving Up”. I’m not complaining. It’s about time for Steve and the boys to have their second wind; I just wouldn’t have thought that Tracy Shedd was going to be the one to usher it back in. Or that Cigarettes and Smoke Machines would be produced by Mark Robinson from Unrest and released on Teenbeat. I feel like I’m in a time warp. This is certainly a lot lusher than I remember any of the Eggs or Unrest material being, but I guess this may be Mark keeping up with the times. If you enjoyed the early 90s releases by Matador and Teenbeat and prefer your female voices dappled in reverb, Tracy Shedd and Cigarettes and Smoke Machines could be your cup of mushroom tea. – Derek Evers

USA TODAY | POP CANDY {October 2008}
The singer-songwriter should be heard by fans of Exile in Guyville-era Liz Phair. I’ll see her at the upcoming CMJ fest, and she recently made a video for the song I play. – Whitney Matheson

SMITH GOLD {October 2008}
Tracy Shedd is an indie pop/folk artist in the mold of Rilo Kiley, with distinct powerful vocals, clean electric guitar chords, and spooky distorted lead guitar hooks. – Jason

MUSIC BOILER {October 2008}
{Language: Dutch} Tracy Shedd maakt al jaren prachtige muziek zonder dat ze daarbij een erg groot publiek weet te bereiken. Haar debuut stamt uit 2001 en Cigarettes & Smoke Machines is haar vierde album. Na een kort uitstapje is ze weer terug bij Teen beat Records. Cigarettes & Smoke Machines is net iets steviger dan de voorgangers. Gitarist en Shedd’s echtenoot James Tritten krijgt volop de ruimte om te soleren en dat levert prachtige nummers op als Whatever It Takes en Won Past Ten. In dit soort songs hoor je Bettie Serveert in hun hoogtijdagen terug. Maar je komt bij Cigarettes & Smoke Machines ook volop aan je trekken als je, zoals ik, houdt van de ingetogen slowcore van Shedd’s eerste twee albums. Vooral Hardest Part of Goodbye en Paris behoren tot het mooiste dat ik dit jaar heb gehoord. Tracy woont tegenwoordig in Tucson, Arizona en haar beroemde stadsgenoot Joey Burns van Calexico komt nog even langs om mee te spelen Dit is een prachtige plaat die zeker een plekje verdient in mijn lijstje met favoriete albums van 2008. En als je geïnteresseerd bent geraakt in Tracy Shedd kunt krijgen kunt je hier haar vorige album gratis downloaden. – Han Orsel

LEONARDS LAIR {October 2008}
I was unaware of the work of Tracy Shedd until very recently. This Tucson, Arizona-based songwriter is now on her fourth album but this is an extremely fresh-sounding record. Shedd eschews the oft-favoured singer-songwriter route and is clearly a fan of the FX pedal judging by this satisfyingly complete record. Musically it’s a real mix of syles which operates loosely around the alternative rock scene. She is cool and airy for opener ‘Never Too Late’. The harder-edged grunge of ‘Go On’ and ‘Valentine’ boast simple but addictive melodies. Meanwhile, ‘Won Past Ten’ and ‘Not Giving Up’ rattle along very nicely. Yet despite a penchant for distortion, Shedd arguably impresses most for the sparest songs here. ‘Paris’ is enfused with subtle melancholia whilst ‘Hardest Part Of Good-Bye’ is a stunning tear-jerker; where some understated guitars accompany Shedd’s aching tones to spine-tingling effect. ‘Cigarettes & Smoke Machines’ feasibly provides the missing link between Suzanne Vega and early-1990’s indie; although given her admiration for the shoegazing sect, perhaps Gemma Hayes’ mixture of acoustic and noise pop might be a better comparison. Moreover, Shedd is a talented in her own right and although her influences may belong in the past, she is very much an artist for the present. – Leonard

Tracy Shedd – Whatever It Takes. In some ways the rhyhm guitar on this song from her new album from this year is so Teenbeat/Mark Robinson – it really never gets old, reminds me of Imperial ffrr and all those great albums. On other other hand the lead guitar line takes this to another, special place. A great song. – Tumblr / A Weiss Man

THE RUN-OFF GROOVE {October 2008}
Tracy Shedd says in the first song: “you can stay up all night and talk about it/or you can just play your guitar”. She sounds a bit like Liz Phair with the ambient vocals of Miki Berenyi or Tanya Connely with the same kind of bounce and attitude that groups like Belly and The Breeders have. Cigarette & Smoke Machines ( easily fits in with many female indie rock artists, and while it might sound lazy to say Shedd sounds pleasant, she does without becoming unsettling. She has one of those silky voices that, at least from a male perspective, I enjoy hearing, it’s pleasing to me. But a nice voice cannot make bad songs sound decent, fortunately Shedd doesn’t have any terrible songs. The album could easily be the kind of thing Gabby Glaser would do on her own album, but this is Shedd’s album and here she sings about dreams, hopes, life, the world, and anything and everything under the sun without making any grandiose statements. Or if there are statements to be made, it’s in the music and how one feels after hearing it. It sounds like accomplishment, and one hopes she will not make this her final statement. More Shedd for everyone. (Cigarettes & Smoke Machines is available in vinyl and CD form directly from – John Book

VENUS ZINE {September 2008}
Tracy Shedd’s fourth full-length album tips her slow-core balance more in the direction of “core” — it’s louder, rawer, and more aggressive than her previous records, which often had Shedd filling the role of poetic indie chanteuse with guitar. Shedd’s embracement of rock on Cigarettes & Smoke Machines is enthusiastic and breathtaking: Each song has a chorus complete with heartbreakingly melodic hooks — and the blend of Shedd’s steady, emotive voice with her husband James Tritten’s guitars is seductive. But what Cigarettes & Smoke Machines gains in musical momentum, it loses a little in poetry. Shedd’s signature slowly-strummed guitar is still alive and well, especially on “Remember the Time We Set the Highway On Fire?” (a definite standout track on the album) and “Paris,” but for the most part, Shedd’s pop melodies overpower the lilting melancholy of her previous work — to the point that if a song doesn’t escalate into ear-throttling dramatics, it feels a little lost. “Paris” is a perfect example; on a previous Shedd record, like 2004’s Louder Than You Can Hear, it would have stood out far more than it does on Cigarettes & Smoke Machines. In other words, Shedd has effectively outdone herself on this new album. Despite this admirable feat, Shedd’s louder songs seem to rely more on their musical power than on lyrical quality: The chorus of “Never Too Late” is the oft-heard phrase “it’s never too late to fight for what you want,” and on “Plastic World,” Shedd likens the vacuousness of materiality to a prison. On both songs, though, the delivery is inflected with a certain earnestness that breathes a little bit of life back into the clichés. Tritten’s particle-crushing guitars lend themselves so perfectly to Shedd’s elegantly structured songs that paying attention to that dynamic alone becomes enough. And some songs, like “Go On,” would be worse for the wear if they were even a smidge less direct: Tritten’s lead guitar dances around the rhythm guitar and an almost trip-hop drum beat with tambourine as Shedd sings (ironically, given the energy of the song), “I like it when you go slow / And it feels so right.” Ultimately, Cigarettes & Smoke Machines feels right, even though it doesn’t go slow. – Annie Holub

TUCSON SCENE {September 2008}
Tracy Shedd’s first single ‘Whatever It Takes’ [filmed in Room 239 at Club Congress] Yes, you may have seen Shedd previously and thought she was just a brilliant singer-songwriter, but this lady rocks! Her new CD, Cigarettes & Smoke Machines shows off a more aggressive side, as you can see in the video above, which incidentally sounds a bit like The Church’s “Reptile,” don’t you agree? Preview the entire new album Cigarettes & Smoke Machines at Tracy Shedd. So this kicks off at 7pm on the patio behind the Tap Room at Congress (which will be expanded tonight with extra seating and gates) with a Tracy Shedd Happy Hour, featuring drink specials. Following will be DJs, giveaways, drink specials…AND CAKE! This will sort of overlap with the first act inside, we believe. More info at Club Congress.- James

75 OR LESS {September 2008}
Tracy Shedd isn’t a household name. In fact, she’s a songwriter’s songwriter the way Ron Sexsmith and Mary Lou Lord are. And when she releases an album (which isn’t often), more critics and music know-it-alls will buy it than average people will. I only mention all this because of how perplexing it is. Cigarettes & Smoke Machines is sharp and upbeat and, at the same time, intimate, confessional and bittersweet. Quality from beginning to end. – Paul

TUCSON WEEKLY {September 2008}
Tucson became blessed with yet another talented singer-songwriter when Tracy Shedd moved to town a couple of years ago. For those unfamiliar with her previous three albums, released on Teenbeat–the label owned by Unrest’s Mark Robinson–and Devil in the Woods, her early local performances were somewhat revelatory. Shedd, who sang and played straightforward guitar chords, was backed only by guitarist James Tritten, who provided a noisy distortion- and feedback-addled guitar attack that set her apart from traditional singer-songwriters. Recently, her shows have featured a full backing band which, surprisingly and thankfully, has only improved her live performances. This week, Shedd will release her fourth album, Cigarettes and Smoke Machines, on Teenbeat. In true Tucson fashion, the album was recorded with Craig Schumacher at Wavelab Studio and features a guest spot from Calexico’s Joey Burns. The sonic oddities have been tamed this time around; instead, it’s a pretty direct singer-songwriter album, and a damn good one. Teenbeat has always had a fondness for jangle-pop, and Cigarettes and Smoke Machines falls squarely and comfortably into that category. Not so much a comparison as a reference point: Fans of Tegan and Sara, or those who love Liz Phair but hate what she’s become, will find an awful lot to love here. Tracy Shedd’s CD-release party takes place on the patio at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., starting at 7 p.m., Friday, Sept. 26. The evening includes both a DJ set and a live performance from Shedd, as well as giveaways, raffle prizes and cake. A hotel-room package is also available. Admission is free. ~ Stephen Seigel

CALIENTE {September 2008}
Tracy Shedd celebrates new album on Friday. Local musician Tracy Shedd will celebrate the release of her fourth album, “Cigarettes and Smoke Machines,” Friday night on the patio at Club Congress. Shedd wrote all the songs on “Cigarettes” and recorded it at Wavelab Studio here in town last year. With Shedd at the wheel, it’s a breezy, melodic and often melancholy midnight drive. The singer/songwriter, who came to Tucson in 2006 from Florida, has put out three albums since 2001 on Washington, D.C.-based Teen Beat Records. The free Friday night celebration will include a DJ set from Shedd starting around 8. After she’s done spinning, she’ll step to the mic to perform. Shedd has another interesting gig coming up. She’ll be the first artist to perform at Tucson’s Apple Store in La Encantada, playing an hour-long set at 6 p.m. Oct. 15. ~ Kevin Smith

WE HEART MUSIC {September 2008}
Tracy Shedd is releasing her third album, Cigarettes & Smoke Machines, this Tuesday, and I will confess that I’m smitten with her sweet voice. Her voice is as pretty as her looks, which surprised me when I read that in her early albums that she deliberately hid her lovely voice behind musical shrouds. With Cigarettes & Smoke Machines, I’m glad to see that it’s her voice that is on the forefront. So, I get the impression that earlier in her career, she loves (or would enjoy) the three colors Kieslowski movies (Blue, White, and Red). At least, that’s what I think of when I saw that her albums were called Red & Blue. On the new album, let’s take a look at the cover art. The cover does not feature Shedd, it’s actually one of her friends from 1996 named Emily Wilder, photographed by Amanda Sciullo. The cover is of a girl in blindfolds, and appearently Shedd had wanted to use this image for a cover – and finally used it with Cigarettes & Smoke Machines. “Never Too Late” starts off the album with this tone that anything can happen, that it’s never too late. The album then become a little more frantic with the guitar on “Whatever It Takes”. It’s a little faster and direct, and I can see why they chose this song for their promotional music video. After watching the video, it seems to translate literally what the song is about – an angry/jealous woman and her boyfriend/husband. The pianos, bass, percussion, and cello, are all there in the background, while the strength lies in the guitar and her voice. It would seem that whoever arranged this album did a pretty good job, keeping you interested. For example, I felt that some of the songs are laid out in a slow/quiet and then followed by a faster/uptempo song. I know that sounds incredibly formulaic, but it works for me. I will have to say that I am a fan of the more faster song, as I felt like I should be dancing to these little stories that Shedd is singing about…. However, “Paris” has a nice spacing and pacing. Cigarettes & Smoke Machines will be available this Tuesday, September 23rd, on Teenbeat Records. Be sure to check some of their other bands, including The Rondelles and The Feminine Complexe. ~ Vu Nguyen

HERE COMES THE FLOOD {September 2008}
Tracy Shedd from Tucson, Arizona, is best described as an indie version of Suzanne Vega. She has a gift for melody, with the occasional hint at punk and UK noise. Cigarettes & Smoke Machines follows the path of Liz Phair, Heather Nova and Carol van Dijk (Bettie Serveert). Jubliant guitars in one song, just a few notes in the next, she tells her stories like she is sitting on the couch late at night, spilling the beans about her relationships. ~ Unknown

STOMP AND STAMMER {September 2008}
When was the last time you thought about Teenbeat Records, in anything other than a wave of nostalgia? The DC-based label, helmed by wunderkind Mark Robinson and anchored by his band Unrest, split the difference between the aesthetics of Dischord and Factory Records and in the process virtually defined a stylized, skittering/droning strain of mid-’90s indie pop. Teenbeat is rousting from a multiyear slumber, and damn if they haven’t found a new standard bearer in Tracy Shedd. Cigarettes & Smoke Machines is the Jacksonville native’s fourth LP (and third for Teenbeat), but the first to fully showcase her substantial talents. Shedd possesses a cool yet emotive voice reminiscent of Teenbeat poster girl Cath Carroll and frankly, a richer one than that of Robinson’s golden era Unrest foil Bridget Cross. Recently relocated to Tucson, the desert air seems to have emboldened Shedd to write far sturdier melodies and to move her crystal clear vocals to the forefront where they belong. When her plainspoken delivery meshes with the kinetic tempos of standouts like “Whatever It Takes” and “Never Too Late,” the results recall Barbara Manning’s finest moments. Despite subtle touches of organ and cello (the latter from Calexico’s Joey Burns, in his usual yeoman’s role of community boosterism) the headline attractions are Shedd’s voice and husband James Tritten’s reverb-drenched guitar lines, which evoke the pre-shoegaze atmospherics of British band Felt. Fans of both sides of Yo La Tengo’s yin/yang will find solace as well. Even on highlight “So Sick” (not a cover of the Unrest song, by the way) when Shedd turns up the bile and Tritten the feedback with help from Craig Schumacher’s fascinating distorted harmonica cameo, there’s no scrimping on the hooks. Closer “Home” offers the most direct link to Shedd’s slowcore roots, but builds to a satisfying payoff that was often missing on earlier albums. Shedd sells these tales of the desire to fight through a strained relationship so convincingly it’s tempting to assume they’re autobiographical. However, Tritten has been a constant presence across her catalog, and as she politely but firmly proposes on “Paris,” “We’re here to entertain/ No more questions.” Shedd does such a fine job holding up her end of that bargain on Cigarettes & Smoke Machines, it’s only fair to accommodate her. ~ Glen Sarvady

RUMBLEFISH {September 2008}
Tucson, Arizona-based songstress Tracy Shedd has a beautifully ethereal voice, but rather than take the assumed dreamy approach to her music (following in the well-trod footsteps of Portishead or the Cocteau Twins), she grounds her otherworldly tones in economical, assertive pop songs and unpretentious guitar licks. Sure, Shedd still swathes her intimate, mid-tempo tunes about love and loss in layers of ephemeral reverb, but the directness of her delivery on these sensual songs keeps the vibe down to earth

INDIE ROCK REVIEWS {September 2008}
Tracy Shedd “Cigarettes & Smoke Machines” Album Review. Score 93% I’m inspired to write about Tracy Shedd and her new album Cigarettes & Smoke Machines. I have the sole intention of telling as many people as I can about her album which drops on September 23rd, on Teen Beat Records. Tracy, has managed to remind me of the jewels from my past, bands like Juliana Hatfield, The Cranberries and The Sundays were all bands that deserved their cult like status, Tracy could very well find herself in such lofty company with an album as good as Cigarettes & Smoke Machines. She has a simplicity of style that leaves nothing behind, and delivers overwhelmingly honest songs. Tracy’s vocals are now residing in my subconscious, have taken up residence and have also made me very embarrassed with the ability of making me sing her songs in overcrowded elevators. That’s another story. The recording on “Cigarettes & Smoke Machines ” breathes with life and fits her sound all to well, and when the guitar driven “Remember the Time We Set the Freeway On Fire?” plays you can’t help but listen and become infatuated. But where Tracy Shedd truly shines is in her lullaby of a song “Paris”, it’s a truly beautiful song that sweeps me away. ~ Administrator

CALIENTE {September 2008}
Happenings: Tracy Shedd releases “Cigarettes,” takes over Apple Store. Local singer-songwriter Tracy Shedd is getting ready to release her new album, “Cigarettes and Smoke Machines,” on Sept. 23, but after that she’s going to make history. Well, kind of. Shedd is set to become the first artist to perform in Tucson’s Apple Store, playing an hour-long set beginning at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 15. So while you’re purchasing your next-gen Nano or debating the feasibility of a MacBook Touch, you’ll be able to hear songs from the fourth album of one of Tucson’s better artists. The cover art for “Cigarettes and Smoke Machines.” The brunt of “Cigarettes and Smoke Machines” features subtle atmospherics that swirl around Shedd’s breathy voice and often whimsical, bittersweet lyrics. The album was recorded here at Wavelab Studio and features its regular inhabitants like Craig Schumacher and Calexico’s Joey Burns (Has there been a local album the prolific Burns hasn’t appeared on lately? He’s like the Lil Wayne of Tucson music.) Shedd has more plans for the release of “Cigarettes” going on, including a free record release party on the patio at Club Congress on Friday, Sept. 26, preceding the Okkervil River Congress show later that evening. Nice. “Cigarettes and Smoke Machines” is Shedd’s fourth album overall and is being released on Teen Beat Records.~ Kevin Smith

COPACETIC ZINE {September 2008}
Okay, I’m biased because it’s on Teenbeat, so as soon as I opened the padded mailer and saw Mark Robinson’s gorgeous design work, my heart went pitter-patter and the CD went right into the player. But, it’s really good. She has such a pretty singing voice. I kinda miss the noisy, lo-fi-ness of Louder Than You Can Hear (I mean, “Wednesday’s The New Thursday,” for crying out loud), but this is still great. ~ Janice

PODFLASH {August 2008}
The first thing fans of Tracy Shedd will notice about her upcoming disc Cigarettes and Smoke Machines is that her voice is finally front and center in the mix…where it should be. A sweet and forthright echo of Liz Phair or Suzanne Vega, it is no longer buried in the instrumentation, and definitively delivers her strongest batch of lyrics and music to date. Check out “Whatever It Takes” now, and mark your calenders for Sept. 23rd, when the rest of this gem hits us. ~ Flash

A LIMERICK OX {August 2008}
You know the difference between being genuine and billing yourself as genuine, right? Lots of folks enjoy spreading the idea that they’re genuine, like Dr. Phil, Céline Dion, or Ted Stevens. Yup, they never give up a chance to let people know that they are true, real, sincere people. They’re like lawn sprinklers, showering everything indiscriminately until the lawn is so wet nobody can really argue as to whether it’s damp or not. Tracy Shedd doesn’t need to spray anything to get her intentions across, especially not with a song like Whatever It Takes. Such a song speaks volumes, allowing for a pretty safe portrait of someone who really places herself into her art, and we listeners are all the better for it. Across the gritty twang of husband James Tritten’s soul gazing guitar, hazy and mysterious like a smoky after-hours bar, Shedd’s voice softly purrs its heady, earnest harmonies. Like a dreamy glow, her heart-sleeve vocals make her down-to-earth lyricism resonate with truth, palpable and genuine. Mundane wisdom such as “Whatever it takes, don’t let them break you down/And whatever it takes, don’t let them talk to you this way” becomes undeniably crucial and true, grand in its simplicity, while still sounding brittle and tentative, far from being some clamorous self-help guru, as if clutched by her own uncertainty about the statement. It’s this humanity which drips from every word she speaks, without relying on melodrama to immerse listeners into her sheen. Her authentic delivery and mature 90’s powerpop-like urgency make Whatever It Takes one of the most compelling and beguiling tracks of the year.

FIRST COAST NEWS {August 2008}
2008 is shaping up to be quite a year for Jacksonville musicians making headway on the national stage. Black Kids have had huge amounts of buzz since their first EP came out last year and now Tracy Shedd has returned with her latest album Cigarettes and Smoke Machines for the ever impressive Teenbeat label. Tracy Shedd has released two previous albums on Teenbeat and one album featuring a who’s who of former Jacksonville bands on Devil in the Woods, but Cigarettes and Smoke Machines marks her return to Mark Robinson’s stable of acts and it’s a perfect fit. Tracy Shedd, is a singer songwriter to some degree but rather than going at it alone, she’s got a full band behind her that helps flush out her ideas and gives a richness to her songs that wouldn’t be possible if it were just by herself. In fact, it might not really be fair to call her that because Cigarettes and Smoke Machines seems to be much more of a band effort with it being named after it’s singer rather than a singer songwriter w/a backing band. Sounding something like Juliana Hatfield, Jenny Toomey or maybe even a little like the Sundays or Tegan and Sara, Tracy Shedd has a shy, innocent intonation that sort of whispers in your ear while her band lends some indie rock styling and tension to her songs. Far from being a strummy boring record, Cigarettes and Smoke Machines is riddled with upbeat moments that weave their tales in a manner that never gets dull. Whether it’s the sustain and strummy jangle of, “Won Past Ten,” to the quiet tension and lilting drama of “Hardest Part of Good-Bye,” Tracy proves herself to be anything but your stereotypical female singer. She is an artist who is a powerful songwriter who knows how to weave emotions into every word and note played. The result of that is an album filled with tension, drama, sentimental bits, and songs that are deeply provoking making Cigarettes and Smoke Machines a truly entertaining listen. Cigarettes and Smoke Machines is another record from our little neck of the woods that we can all be proud of and Tracy Shedd is another hometown artist that’s proving that Jacksonville has a far better musical legacy than we are given credit for. ~ Paul

THE POWER OF POP {July 2008}
I must confess that there was a time when the only female singers I listened to were Chrissie Hynde and Annie Lennox (and maybe Pixies-era Kim Deal). Thankfully, I am making up for lost time cos there’s always something different going on when you’re dealing with female singer-songwriters. Tracy Shedd’s new album – Cigarettes and Smoke Machines – is a landmark album of sorts. It’s hard to pin point exactly why but I guess there’s a mature sense of rich pop history that Shedd’s music evokes. While her debt to classic pop (tinges of country sirens like Emmylou Harris linger) is clear, it is the sweet influence of 80s Brit indie that intrigues. These references illuminate superior material like the edgy Whatever It Takes, the twangy New Order vibe of Won Past Two, the torchy Remember the Time We Set the Highway On Fire, the rampaging sexy Go On and the careening dark So Sick. With the depth displayed here, Cigarettes and Smoke Machines is an album that demands repeated listening in order to savour even after the time immediacy often fades. Watch out for Tracy Shedd, I certainly intend to! ~ Kevin

THE POP! STEREO {July 2008}
Local Girl Makes Good…Again! For those of you who have been around for a while in Jacksonville, you’ll know doubt know who Tracy Shedd is. Tracy has been playing stuff in Jacksonville for as long as I’ve been here and that’s been nearly a decade, so she’s kind of a familiar name. After a while of being here and doing just about everything there was to do here in Jacksonville she got picked up by the rather brilliant Teenbeat label. After two albums on Teenbeat, one for Devil in the Woods, and more tours than you can shake a stick at, she kind of slowed down to the point where I’m not sure what happened. As fate would have it, she’s back and as it happens, with a new record. Cigarettes & Smoke Machines brings Shedd back home and is now her third album for Teenbeat. Shedd’s place on the Teenbeat roster has obviously grown stronger throughout the years and it’s an immense pleasure to see that at a time when the record industry is in a state of “huh?” a record as worthwhile as Cigarettes & Smoke Machines can appear on a label as true to itself as Teenbeat. ~ Paul

ROCK SELLOUT {July 2008}
I had never heard of Tracy Shedd until we received word that her new album “Cigarettes & Smoke Machines” will be coming out September 23rd. Being the inquisitive sort, I scooted over to her MySpace page to check the score and lo and behold – she’s offering her full length album “Louder Than You Can Hear” for free download! She’s got some great chops too – think The Cure fronted by, say, Liz Phair. It’s addicting in all the best ways. So here’s the plan: 1. Check out “Whatever It Takes” below, fresh off her forthcoming release 2. Enthralled by Step 1, go to her MySpace page and grab that free album 3. Sufficiently armed with Shedd tunes to weather the 2 months until her new album’s release date, stuff a few extra coins in between the cushions each night as a savings fund for September 23rd. ~ Keath

Cigarettes & Smoke Machines is Tracy Shedd’s fourth album, which blows me away since I have never ever heard of her before. What reeled me in to listening to this one is the fact that she’s being currently compared to Liz Phair and Bettie Serveert. What’s interesting is that this comparison still requires me taking a little bit of a gamble, since I love the 90’s versions of these two acts, but I’m decidedly lukewarm about their current versions. So is Tracy Shedd reminiscent of old school Phair / Serveert, or the current Avril-ized versions? Well, to confuse you even more, I’d have to say yes and no. First off, the Liz Phair comparison is really quite superficial in the sense that style-wise, she doesn’t really sound like old or new Liz. Vocal-wise however, the similarity is staggering. This is a good thing since I’ve always liked Liz’s
voice. Not too perfect, not too flawed, but just the right amount of human to make her endearing. The Bettie Serveert comparison is a little bit more accurate. Palomine was easily one of the great albums of the 90’s, and although Shedd’s disc doesn’t quite have the same edge, it certainly carries the same level of solid alternative 90’s pop sensibility. Not every song will grab you right away, but there are some very catchy ones still. Some of the highlights can be found in songs like Won Past Ten, which feels a bit nostalgic in its lyrical delivery as well as the slightly Cure-ish guitar sound. James Tritten plays lead guitar and I love how heavily featured it is on this track, making it as much the lead singer as her voice is. Go On is another standout. The lyrics are admittedly quite simple and a little bit mundane, but I’ve got to believe that this was done on purpose so as to place greater emphasis on the driving buildup of the song which I find very infectious. I’d say that the album is divided equally between the upbeat numbers and the balladry, and personally I’d say overall the faster songs seem to work a little bit better. But Plastic World is a good one, dealing with the monotony of life and the pressure that comes with being forced into the accepted plastic mold that becomes the standard in the world today, leaving very little room for individuality sometimes. That’s a subject matter that’s always appealed to me, going all the way back to Zappa’s Plastic People in ’67, and probably even earlier. Not being familiar with her previous work, I’d be interested in seeing if her music has always been this safe, or if she once had a little bit more of an edge. Not that a touch of anger is always necessary, I mean I like Fountains of Wayne for crying out loud, but it’s the misleading Liz Phair comparison that had me expecting something a little bit more ‘in-your-face.’ The closest she gets is in the song So Sick, where she says some pretty harsh things about being so sick of it all, once again to the accompaniment of a heavily distorted guitar sound. It would’ve been nice to hear a little bit more of that. Still, as far as singer songwriter pop music goes, Cigarettes & Smoke Machines is better than average and is certain to offer even more grit upon further listenings. ~ Quadb

KXCI 91.3FM {July 2008}
I have a little secret to tell you. There is a band in town that relatively few people seem to have discovered. They are not only good, but they are world-class good. The band is Tracy Shedd, fronted by Tracy Shedd (vocals), with James Tritten on lead guitar, Becca Hummer on electric bass, and Tasha Sabatino on drums. Tracy Shedd has a new album out called “Cigarettes and Smoke Machines.” I was able to get an advance copy last weekend, and I have been listen to it ever since, sometimes while dancing in my living room. The album was recorded right here in Tucson at Craig Schumacher’s Wavelab Studio. This is smart pop, pop music in the best sense of the word. The most prominent feature of the music is Tracy Shedd’s smooth, melodic vocals. There is something calming about her voice, something reassuring. The lyrics are based on conversations and describe everyday situations. “Whatever it takes, don’t let them break you down. And whatever it takes, don’t let them talk to you this way.” sings Tracy Shedd. Tracy Shedd’s smooth delivery is juxtaposed by James Tritten’s exuberant electric guitar, played on a black Fender Telecaster that delivers that crunchy surf sound. James Tritten’s guitar lead is another voice. His guitar sings along with Tracy, harmonizes, and then at times takes its own way only to meld seamlessly once again with Tracy’s steady vocals. Tracy Shedd has assembled Tucson’s finest with Becca Hummer on electric bass, and Tasha Sabatino on Drums. There is chemistry on stage between these four fine Tucson musicians. They are having fun, doing what they love. The only thing missing right now is a solid fan base, and I have a feeling that is soon to follow. The album has just been released to radio stations around the country and the excellent reviews and blogs are already rolling in. The album “Cigarettes and Smoke Machines” will be released in October, 2008 and there will be a true CD release party at Club Congress. If you want to get a preview of their songs, listen in to Locals Only at 91.3FM KXCI on Monday, July 21st at 8pm and I will be sure to play one song. Or, you can visit Tracy Shedd’s Myspace Page. Tracy Shedd will play live on Sunday, July 27th at Plush, opening for touring musician Eef Barzelay of Clem Snide (Nashville, TN). ~ Dr. Dan, Host of 91.3FM KXCI’s Locals Only, 8pm Mondays

As Tracy Shedd (a relatively new Tucsonan) preps for the release of her fourth record (Cigarettes and Smoke Machines, produced by Craig Schumacher at Tucson’s Wavelab Studio, due out Sept. 23 on Teenbeat Records), the singer-songwriter is making her previous release available as a free download. Louder Than You Can Hear, released in 2004 by Devil in the Woods Records, has a sound that spans from spare singer-songwriter material to the noisy end of shoegaze, and throughout Shedd has a sharp sense of how to blend melody with distortion. She has a dreamy, languorous vocal style, which blends well with buzzing, feedback-prone guitars and the looping, urgently propelling drums. The album opens with the percussive and mesmerizing “Inside Out,” a head-nodding tone-setter with the repeated line “You’re the only one that ever mattered” fading into the swirl of guitar noise. The record’s highlight is the six-minute third song, “If You Really Cared About Me You Would Have Kept In Touch For All These Years,” which starts with a build-up of guitar and drum noise, then slows to just one strumming guitar as Shedd starts singing. The distorted lead guitar breaks back in as a soaring echo that intertwines with Shedd’s understated vocal. Next is the up-tempo “Try And Get Some Rest” and Shedd settles into a groove that stands next to the best early Liz Phair tunes. The album’s title comes from the chorus to “Wednesday’s The New Thursday,” another song built upon layers of guitars and a thumping drum beat. The closer “Blue (The Blues Explosion Version)” is another perfect example of what Shedd does best on this record: wrap a delicate song inside screaming guitars with a balance and tension so captivating that six minutes pass unnoticed. It starts slow, with finger-picked guitar and Shedd singing the opening lines (“If it takes me all night, I’ll get it wrong”) with an air of forlorn detachment. The explosion part of the song hits after a beautifully hypnotic three minutes, with a squeal and crash that breaks the quiet but leaves the song’s hypnotic core intact. The previews on Shedd’s MySpace page point to an even better record, a tighter and more assured batch of songs that could very well make her one of the buzz singers of the fall. ~ Eric Swedlund

I was fortunate enough to receive an advance of the upcoming Tracy Shedd release, Cigarettes & Smoke Machines, which Teenbeat is making available this fall. I was a big fan of her previous output, but this is her best record yet. As usual, the standout is Tracy’s vocals, which are delivered in a very earnest, deliberate fashion, reminding me a little of Laura Veirs. But there are also a few surprises in store… thanks mostly to the very tasty and varied lead guitar work of Tracy’s husband James Tritten (of the late, great Audio Explorations). The entire record is great, but I especially can’t stop listening to “Won Past Ten.” When I first heard it I thought the hooky guitar line sounded just a little too obtrusive, but now that’s the part that I find myself humming almost non-stop. It’s this song that made me think this record fits perfectly on the Teenbeat roster (and would have fit perfectly on Sarah Records, if it were still around), as it reminds me so much of great early 90s indiepop. And speaking of the Teenbeat roster, fans of the band Aden will likely fall in love with this record, as at times while listening to it I couldn’t help but think “this is what Aden would sound like if fronted by a female.” Anyway, it really is great stuff, just check out the track below and keep an eye on Teenbeat for more details of the release. ~ Kim Ware

TUCSONSCENE.COM {December 2007}
You may have recently read Annie Holub’s feature article on Shedd in this past Tucson Weekly. The recently-transplanted singer-songwriter has been recording over at Wavelab studios, though the eventual CD won’t be released until after the new year. For now, you can get samples of her hypnotic and addictively soothing semi-acoustic pop by clicking on Tracy Shedd. Be sure to check out “If You Really Cared,” which rocks-out a little more than the others. (Are there more Rilo Kiley-esque songs in the future? Hmm?) ~ James

TUCSONSTYLE.COM {December 2007}
Self-proclaimed slo-core singer-songwriter and recent Tucson transplant Tracy Shedd has made her presence known and her music felt for the past year in the Old Pueblo. From Old Artisan to the cafes, people have been left breathless whenever they catch a little piece of Tracy’s nationally recognized music. With releases on top indie labels such as Teenbeat and Devil in the Woods, Shedd is definitely making her mark and making waves in Tucson and beyond. ~ unknown

TUCSON WEEKLY {December 2007}
New Tucsonan Tracy Shedd is a welcome addition – You might have already seen Tracy Shedd performing around town, opening up for touring bands, and perhaps you were captivated by her slow and minimal songs. What you might not know is that Shedd is a recent Tucson transplant: She and her husband and backing guitarist, James Tritten, moved here about a year ago from Jacksonville, Fla. Before then, Shedd was the touring act, with local bands opening up for her–she first played Club Congress back in 2002 while on tour for her first album, 2001’s Blue (Teenbeat). She’s released two full-length albums on Teenbeat, and a third, 2004’s Louder Than You Can Hear, on Devil in the Woods. Her music is reminiscent of friends The One A.M. Radio, or of indie slow-core bands like Bedhead. It’s definitely a testament to our homegrown musical community when musicians like Tracy Shedd become a part of it. “Tucson has the small-town feel that Jacksonville had to offer, but yet a cultural community similar to a big-city,” said Shedd. “People go out and do things here; they support the arts in general. It’s also nice to know everyone around town when you go out. It’s the best of both worlds.” So far, Tucson has been good to Tracy Shedd. She just finished her fourth album, Cigarettes and Smoke Machines, which will be released early next year and was recorded with Craig Schumacher at Wavelab. “Moving here has created an opportunity for me to take on my music full-time. I am now able to spend time focusing on the arrangement of my music–more than I have in the past–and songwriting in general,” said Shedd. “I am also spending time relearning piano. I was classically trained in my early teenage years and am looking forward to introducing piano into my songwriting.” Shedd started writing songs in 1994 when her first band, Sella, lost their drummer. “We had a show opening up for Rein Sanction, a local band from Jacksonville, Fla., on Sub Pop Records, at the legendary club Einstein’s A Go-Go in two weeks,” explained Shedd. “I went out and bought my first guitar and just began writing.” Since then, Shedd’s music has gone from sparse to lush and back again; Blue is mostly Shedd’s angelic voice, bright and crisp guitar, and quiet drums. Red, released in 2003, moves into louder and more orchestral frames, and on Louder Than You Can Hear, Shedd and Tritten’s quiet/loud and soft/edgy contrasts are in full form. “I love noisy My Bloody Valentine/Sonic Youth-sounding guitars, yet also appreciate softer sounds like Kings of Convenience or José González,” said Shedd. “I think that’s what people like about the dynamics between James’ playing and myself. Around Tucson, we’ve been playing as a duet. James is playing a loud, out-of-control, at times, noisy guitar, and I am playing acoustic. I think it works for now, but I do miss playing with a full band at times.” Cigarettes and Smoke Machines, said Shedd, is “not far off from my previous work, just a little more refined. … It has intimate, pop, rock and noise moments. It’s like a mixture of all three of my previous albums.” Part of what makes Cigarettes and Smoke Machines more refined, explained Shedd, is that she had more time to develop the songs. Louder Than You Can Hear was recorded on a strict deadline. “I think it was an unhealthy pressure,” said Shedd. “The band sort of went on a hiatus after that record. I purchased an acoustic guitar and spent more time focusing on being a singer/songwriter and less of a bandleader. Moving out to Tucson obviously broke up my band, sort of. Mainly, when I’d write a song, I wasn’t worried about if bass and drums would work. I think that’s why this album is a bit more diversified in instrumentation. I guess you could say the influence for Cigarettes and Smoke Machines would be regaining my independence as a songwriter.” Onstage, Shedd’s independence as a songwriter is clear–at a recent show at Plush on a rainy night, Shedd’s songs filled the room. With just her acoustic and Tritten’s electric guitar accompanying her voice, each note expanded into the room, so that even in their quietest moments, each song was powerful and warm. Some of the titles alone evoke provocative images, like “Remember the Time We Set the Highway on Fire.” Shedd proves that slowcore can still create immense amounts of creative energy, and perhaps the best parts about Shedd’s move to Tucson are that we can get these sneak previews of her new album, and get the chance to be supportive of her music on a local level. “I love how everyone is so supportive of each other and how they all collaborate together. I feel there is a lot of creative energy, and it is very easy to express myself here. This city has a lot to offer an artist,” she said. ~ Annie Holub

TUCSON WEEKLY {October 2007}
CLUB CRAWL CALENDAR. Epic Cafe’s been packing ’em in since before you were born, and tonight, they’ve got a special musical treat for you. Recent Tucson transplant Tracy Shedd has released albums of her delicate, slightly melancholy songs for such esteemed national indie labels as Teenbeat and Devil in the Woods. ~ unknown

MYSPACE BLOG {September 2007}
LIVE REVIEW. I am sitting at Café Passe listening to Tracy Shedd and James Tritten. As the smooth vocals and dual acoustic guitar music wash over me, I am reminded of the sometimes lonely and difficult road that independent singer songwriters must tread. The songs I am listening to are of the highest quality. The songwriting is excellent. The melody is memorable and catchy. The chord changes are interesting and natural. The lyrics fit the mood of the song, and are meaningful. Tracy’s voice is like butter, and James’ guitar adds just the right amount of accent to the songs. And yet, I am one of five people in the audience, and two are friends and neighbors of Tracy and James. It would be easy for a singer-songwriter like Tracy to get discouraged. Many do. No matter how confident and strong a person is in their craft, one measure of the success of a singer-songwriter is how many people come to see the shows and how many albums are sold. Now we are down to 4 people in the audience, and one very sleepy dog. And Tracy and James continue to sing their hearts out up there. My advice to a singer-songwriter like Tracy, or D. Mulligan, twelker and the many others out there is to take a long view. Today’s gig is one more step towards success. Now, I don’t know precisely what success will be for any one individual or band. Is it world and historical fame? Will people a couple hundred years from now be uttering the name D. Mulligan like, say, the name Mozart. Probably not. Will Tracy Shedd be playing on Letterman in a couple years? Perhaps. Would that be success? Will she be signed to a major label? Will she sell a million albums? Maybe. And would that be success? In the end, every artist must, I believe, decide what success means for them. Even more importantly, every artist must really and truly enjoy what they are doing so that every song sung, even to oneself at home in your bedroom or living room is a success. Every song brings us closer to our own hearts, helps us to be more grounded, and helps others to do the same. Every song help us to enjoy our time on this earth, even if is just to have some fun. There is another side to success that I should mention. There are countless examples of musicians that can fill a stadium, their albums have gone gold or platinum, and they do not feel successful and may never feel that way. Inside themselves is a void that can never be filled, that is, until they look deeply at the source of that void. The show is over and we sit and chat, pretty much all of the audience members along with Tracy and James. I ask Tracy how she feels when there are a handful of people in the audience. As I had hoped, Tracy takes the long view. She says the she enjoys playing for any sized audience. Furthermore, because they are new in Tucson, she understands that it will take awhile to build a fan base. As I listen to Tracy, I think to myself that this is the mark of a successful artist. ~ Dan Twelker

LIVE REVIEW. Sure, it’s nice to tarry over dinner, wait until that TV show ends or take a power nap before a night out. But if you’re among the reasons audiences are sparse until the headliner takes the stage, missing an act like Tracy Shedd should be a wake-up call. As the first opener for Great Northern–Tucson punk-pop princess Emily Long was in the middle–Shedd stunned early birds with the strength of her vocals; she sings like four-track-era Liz Phair, but with more control and less innuendo. Shedd’s lyrics are punk simple, but they’re overlaid on complex melodies. Her husband, James Tritten, counterpoints on electric guitar with intricate fills ranging from tender to searing. Fortunately, you’ll have lots more chances to see them; they’ve just relocated from Florida, and Shedd’s working at Wavelab on her fourth release. ~ Linda Ray

Tracy is a new resident of Tucson… recently moving from Jacksonville, Florida, her style of music can be compared to the likes of Camera Obscura, early Liz Phair and Damien Jurado. We are happy to have her here in the Old Pueblo! ~ unknown

REVIEW. Tracy Shedd’s voice resembles Canadian twin duo Tegan and Sara — a tad alternative and a tad folksy, particularly on the pleasing midtempo pop gem “Inside Out.” Backed by a seasoned band, Shedd is poised on this simple arrangement that gets somewhat dreamy in the bridge. The only problem might be how long it takes her to conclude the opening, fading too slowly for the song’s own good. “End of the Night” is a funky, percussion-driven tune that shows Shedd’s softer side, resembling a cross between 10,000 Maniacs and the Cranberries. “I’m not that naïve anymore,” she sings on the tune resembling an early demo of the Cure. One song that might have her biting off more than she can chew is “If You Really Cared About Me You Would Have Kept in Touch for All Those Years,” immediately building the song into a Coldplay-ish anthem before reverting back to her minimal alt-rock ways. The tension builds in a My Bloody Valentine or Jesus and Mary Chain vibe, but never breaks the surface the way one might hope. “Try and Get Some Rest” is an all-out rocker that takes no prisoners, a song that Shedd nails perfectly but still feels a tad unfinished. The first breather comes during “One By One,” a song that seems to be out of Sloan’s songbook. One of the highlights is a dreary but happy “One By One,” which brings to mind a string-laced track performed by the Aislers Set. The spacy “Something Out There” is light and airy, with Shedd’s hushed vocals leading the arrangement along into a thick wave of guitar. “Sugar, Please” is a winding lo-fi affair that shows her strengths as a performer and songwriter. After a few tunes that are B-side material at best, Shedd starts to wrap up with “Somersault” and “Blue,” both tender tunes, although the latter breaks out into a lovely wall of sound halfway through. ~ Jason MacNeil

AURAL MINORITY {February 2005}
Weird things.  I was reading the 2004 Fall Tour Journal at female indie rocker Tracy Shedd’s web site and I realized that her husband is friends with a guy who lived two floors upstairs from me in the dorms at the University at Buffalo back in 1996-1997.  The weirdest thing about the connection, I think, is the fact that I hadn’t realized it has been nine whole years since I was a freshman in college.  How old am I, anyway?  What the fuck.  The whole thing kind of put me into a mood. Ironically enough, the latest Tracy Shedd album – 2004’s Devil in the Woods’ release Louder Than You Can Hear – is the perfect soundtrack for that sort of melancholy reflection.  Louder Than You Can Hear sounds like the culmination of too many rainy days and nights on the road, the sort of thing to listen to on a gray afternoon when the friends aren’t going to call.  It is moody and troubled; both the music and the lyrics have a tendency to weigh heavily on the listener.  Louder Than You Can Hear is the sort of album that replays itself in the memory over and over again, buzzing in at those times of the day when human connections seem farthest away. At the same time, Louder Than You Can Hear is a pretty sweet rock record.  The band, which consists of becoupled guitarists Shedd and James Tritten, bassist Richard Dudley and drummer Cash Carter (the “new guy,” he has been with the band for three years, opposed to five for Dudley; Shedd and Tritten have been married for 10 years), is tighter and more expressive than the average two-chords-and-trying outfit, yet manages to maintain a greater level of accessibility than the typically talented, we’re-using-16-different-instruments wank-off underground band.  This is a group who you can see yourself joining onstage in those daydream rock concerts you star in when you’re trying to fall asleep. The disc opens with “Inside Out,” and the very first sounds from the speaker – Shedd’s gentle voice backed by the strum of a spidery guitar as she confesses “You’re the only one who ever mattered” – set the tone for what will be a sort of electromagnetic experiment in positive and negative energy. Throughout Louder Than You Can Hear , the matter-of-fact ache in Shedd’s delivery is balanced by husband James Tritten’s shimmering, weaving guitar work.  Drummer Cash Carter – how cool is that name, by the way – displays good judgment across each track, picking the spots to roll and to crash with unerring accuracy.  This sensible rhythmic display is best exemplified on “Conley,” one of four additional songs tacked onto Louder Than You Can Hear , when the cool disco-esque groove created by Carter and bassist Richard Dudley gives way to a car wreck of smashed cymbals and thundering breakdowns before snapping back to the original beat.  “If You Really Cared About Me You Would Have Stayed In Touch For All Those Years” achieves a similar feel, albeit in reverse: the song opens in overdrive before downshifting and building back up to the explosion.  If Louder Than You Can Hear were purely an instrumental album, no lyrics, no nothing, it would still be worth picking up. It’s not, though, and what lifts Louder Than You Can Hear from the status of interesting rock record to the level of Great Albums of 2004 is Shedd herself.  She is by no means a four-octave diva who’s going to bring down the house with a dramatic, technically pristine vocal performance; she is, however, the perfect blend of earnestness and cynicism.  On wax, Tracy Shedd manages to be both openhearted and withdrawn, the kind of woman who seems understanding but also a little too introspective and intense.  She isn’t a whimsical whiner like Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley or a lyrical artist painting pictures of shy schoolgirls like Tracyanne Campbell of Camera Obscura.  Shedd has an edge to her character; a darkness.  When she sings, “Sending you a postcard from every state I’m in” in “One by One,” you get the disturbing feeling that the states she’s talking about aren’t the ones you find on a map. In a recent email interview, Shedd was not particularly forthcoming about where she finds her lyrical inspiration, which can be forgiven because email interviews suck.  Being able to ask a question over the phone or in person always works better than writing it down, where, in print, it seems kind of stupid and obvious.  See, look: My question: How personal are your songs?  Are your lyrics directly related to personal experience, or do you write more with characters/situations in mind? Tracy Shedd: The lyric Fairy! I would probably do the same thing.  I mean, how do you really answer a question like that on paper, anyway?  Maybe I’m asking the wrong questions, which is entirely possible.  Anyhow, Shedd was more verbose when discussing the recording of Louder Than You Can Hear .“We weren’t sure what was going to happen while recording because we were on such a tight schedule with (Devil in the Woods),” she wrote.  “The artwork for the album needed to be printed in Italy and we had to have all lyrics, album artwork and song sequence done in one month. I was more focused on how the hell I was going to write 7 songs in three weeks, but somehow I pulled it off… “After we heard the final mix, we were all pleasantly surprised with the outcome of the songs. Our friend and engineer Scott Madget was amazing. He really helped us all stay focused and he was available wee hours of the night to make it happen. Lots of chocolate, Gatorade, caffeine and whiskey (not at the same time)!” Shedd also offered some insight into road life with three guys in a van.  Shedd, Tritten, Dudley and Carter pulled off a fairly hardcore tour of the United States in 2004, hitting all points from her hometown in Jacksonville, Fla. to Bellingham, Wash. and then back across the country to Boston, Mass.  At some point, funk becomes more than just a George Clinton record. “I really do enjoy touring. The people you meet on the road are always so welcoming and wonderful,” Shedd wrote.  “It does lose some of its newness after a few years but its still interesting visiting all the cities and meeting all the terrific people you encounter.  You can definitely go a little stir crazy after 12 hours in a van.  Now if you ask the guys if they like touring with me you may get another answer.  They like to see who can wear their shirts the longest or who can go without a shower. It’s almost like a trophy to them.  On the other hand I don’t like going longer than a day with out a shower.  Boys will be boys.” Keep that in mind – do not approach Tritten, Dudley or Carter immediately after a sweaty set.  That may not be an issue for a while, however, as the band is currently in the studio working on the follow-up to Louder Than You Can Hear . The bar is set high – Louder Than You Can Hear is going to be a tough one to top – but fortunately, Tracy Shedd has put together a good team. “Most of the songs I bring to the table, and then the guys rip it apart and turn into a rocker,” she wrote. “Just kidding. They are actually very open-minded and we work well together. We do have a handful of “jam” songs, and that’s fun too! I like to mix it up!” So we will all have to wait and see what Tracy Shedd comes up with next.  In a world where so many guitar bands are finding new ways to define the term “boring,” Tracy Shedd and her cohorts have staked a solid position in the “innovative” camp.  Hopefully, more people take notice. In the meantime, Shedd will keep working away until the new record is complete. “It will be something to look forward to!” she concluded.  “We’ll see what the lyric fairy brings….” ~ Ben Kirst

NEUMU {January 2005}
FAVORITE ALBUMS OF 2004 – While song craft was never in dispute, Tracy Shedd makes the most of new beginnings on the Devil in the Woods debut Louder Than You Can Hear . The band seems to have realized that the best complement for vocalist Shedd’s smart-fragile delivery is a wall of Loveless guitars and excitable percussion. Titles like “If You Really Cared About Me You Would Have Kept in Touch All These Years” suggest that despite the controlled distortion, the diary-style reflections are what matter. Imagine Lois with swirling noise-pop guitars, no less intimate, just more daring. Here those references sound like a revelation. ~ Jennifer Przybylski

Plus, the true mission as far as I was concerned: writing about artists no one has ever heard of. Like Tracy Shedd, the southern singer-songwriter who released a great CD called “Louder Than You Can Hear,” (Devil in the Woods, 3 1/2 stars out of 4) filled with great harsher pop tunes and wonderful singing from Shedd. Plus it has bonus tracks that are even better than the “real” CD. ~ Mark Earnest

EXCLAIM.CA {October 2004}
During her time at Teenbeat Records, Tracy Shedd fit the label’s characteristic sound so very well that there was no real need for reinvention or, to a lesser extent, ambition. But backed by her first consistent band, she has taken steps to move in a new direction. It’s no coincidence that she chose this title for her third album because she has finally let her louder ambitions take hold and create an album which has the depth that her previous releases have lacked. That is in no part due to her band, and in particular when James Tritten is given space for his guitar to soar on the wonderfully titled “If You Really Cared about Me You Would Have Kept in Touch for All Those Years.” Keep in mind that loud is a relative term though. She still plays classic indie pop, in a similar vein to the Pacific Ocean, with a longing in her voice that begs listeners to keep listening. Not that Louder Than You Can Hear is a one-dimensional recording by any means, because Shedd has the ability to shift between moods so easily that the whole album flows wonderfully and there really are no weak points. Hopefully this newer direction will stick. ~ Michael Edwards

PLAY BY PLAY ST. LOUIS {October 2004}
Late September, Tracy Shedd and her three-piece band played Frederick ’s Music Lounge. Opening was Julia Sets, who’d brought in a few friends. On an anonymous Tuesday, though, this was a hard show to sell, with an artist making her St. Louis debut, sporting just a couple of independent records to help sell her name in a new town. There weren’t many of us there. It’s safe to say, though, that no one who came to the show left once Shedd and her band—guitarist James Tritten, drummer Cash Carter, and bassist Richard Dudley—plugged in, playing a large selection of tracks from their recent album, Louder Than You Can Hear. The disc is simply loaded with exceptional cuts, including some nice reworks of earlier recordings. First recording as a solo artist with some slight instrumental backing, Shedd put together the group in the last year-and-change, which gives her formerly spare tracks a remarkable degree of breadth and, honestly, loveliness. Tritten, for example, adds waves of guitar that are clearly and positively reminiscent of the British shoegazer heroes from 10 years back—think Chapterhouse, Ride, Pale Saints. Carter is a rock-solid drummer, with subtle touches that keep tracks almost hovering. Dudley ’s solid, but just as in concert, you sense his presence without outright noticing his additions. For a bass player, adding a solid base without showiness—well, you could say worse things. Tritten, though, you hear, loud and clear. On the record’s emotional center, “If You Really Cared About Me You Would Have Kept in Touch for All These Years,” Tritten’s guitar darts around Shedd’s lightly picked melody lines. Live, he nearly comes out of his shoes when rocking back and forth in a tight space; on album, the urgency’s there, but contained and tamed. Armed with effects and the skill to not overuse them, Tritten’s the primary coloring that makes Shedd’s music so gorgeous. Of course, Shedd writes the songs and sings them, so there’s got to be notice of her. Shedd could’ve continued to explore a career as a singer-songwriter, one with a bit more brashness than the average coffeehouse habitué. Instead, though, she let songs like “Inside Out” move into the world of a band, a bold move; it’s remarkable that you can hear both the original song there and the added layers. It happens again and again on Louder Than You Can Hear, which bursts with smart, concise, pop songs, flavored by Brit pop much more than the Americana you’d expect from Shedd’s contemporaries. After a solid batch of 10 tracks, Shedd delights the ears of a completist by reworking four cuts from earlier records, adding both weight and beauty to standout songs such as “Cliché” and “Somersault.” Sometimes an album, or artist, comes into your possession at just the right time. That moment when you want to hear a familiar sound, played by someone you don’t know, but want to. Perhaps you’d care to let this CD be your introduction? ~ Thomas Crone

Jacksonville’s true-blue acoustic confessionalist, Tracy Shedd, has pulled an Anna Nicole and “shed” most, if not all, of that unslightly singer/songwriter flab. Oddly, by adding a full band, lead by the spot-on indie licks of James Tritten, Shedd sounds more lean than ever. To use another ill-advised metaphor, Louder Than You Can Hear , her third-album and first for Devil in the Woods, shows Shedd at her fighting weight, swinging oblique lyrics, and haunting mid-tempo melodies that land with easy vigor of slow-mo haymakers. In the most polite way possible, on her previous albums Shedd could be accused of displaying some of the early signs of James Taylor Syndrome (JTS). Sure, we all know he’s seen fire and he’s seen rain, but in the conscious public utterance of personal details and confessions, the singer/songwriter becomes something like a four-minute memoirist. Tough thing to do well. Just ask chronic JTS sufferers Dashboard Confessional. (One of modern music worst cases of JTS and of poorly chosen metaphors. For other examples of poorly chosen metaphors, see my opening paragraph.) On Louder , Shedd’s cure for JTS is to put the acoustic back in the case, put the rocks back in her socks, and put her voice, which, it must be said, immediately reminds one of Jenny Lewis, in the middle of Tritten’s brilliant arpeggios and fuzzed-out bridges. Tritten’s deft ability to lay down layers of indie-jangle and feedback, especially on “Wednesday’s the New Thursday,” and “Inside Out,” makes this as much an album by a band proper as by a singer/songwriter cum frontwoman. With the slow-developing melodies common to Camera Obscura and My Bloody Valentine, or, more recently, Death Cab for Cutie, Shedd’s band provides the ideal buttress for her accomplished voice and lyrical sensibilities. In the end this is an album that sounds like a precocious debut, not a third-album, which is decidedly a good thing. Next up for Shedd: a PSA about living with JTS. ~ Ryan McCarthy

Folk-rock artist Tracy Shedd released her third full-length album entitled Louder Than You Can Hear with her first solid backing band. The band consists of guitarist James Tritten, percussionist Cash Carter, and bassist Richard Dudley. Tracy Shedd performs on lead vocals. The style of the band is reminiscent of The Cranberries especially on guitar. Shedd’s sound isn’t too heavy and tends to play on the light side. The first song “Inside Out” covers some feelings of a love she once had. Tracy sings “It’s outside. It’s inside. I’m calling out your name. You’re the only one that ever mattered.” The song never slows keeping a steady beat. In the second song “End of the Night,” Shedd’s uses some introspective lyrics such as “So happy, when you arrive. So alone at the end of the night. Shaking hands with our eyes. The song starts off with what appears to be a crush of some sort, but takes a different direction. She continues, “But I’m not that way anymore. I’m not that naïve anymore.” This song shows she has grown and matured from what she used to be. “Sugar, Please” begins on a mellow note. The haunting background music makes a compelling backdrop. Drums come later in the song adding a unique twist. I would listen to this track at night after a long day. This song contains lyrics that are strong and personable. Shedd sings “Funny how things work out. Life is clear again. You had a messy breakup. All those childhood memories. What a memory.” I was able to relate to the lyrics. So many things happen in life do not make sense. Then one day everything is clear and understandable. She also sings, “You had your head in every book. That doesn’t bother me.” Shedd’s loved one had his mind on other things, but she didn’t let that bother her. “Wednesday’s The New Thursday” begins on a fast pace tone. The song offers an energized ambiance with guitars on a rockier edge. The drums give off an effectively clear sound. The lyrics in this song are very effective and personal Shedd often sings of love lost, finding a new love, or something else that is relatable. Shedd sings “You are beautiful sitting in a dark bar. No one really knows you. Higher, higher than you can jump. Louder, louder than you can hear. No one really gives a damn.” The album is a solid effort by Shedd. Louder Than You Can Hear is definitely worth checking out especially if you are a Cranberries fan or a fan of Sarah McLachlan. Devil in the Woods has a great new roster of artists including Frank Jordan and Six Parts Seven – go check’em out. ~ Kyle Neumann

After releasing her 2001 album, “Blue,” Jacksonville, Fla. singer-songwriter Tracy Shedd decided her solo days were over. She kept the name, got a backing band and, in 2003, released a new album, “Red.” Today Shedd is experiencing some of the best success of her career as she and now-permanent band members Cash Carter, James Tritten and Richard Dudley tour the U.S. and promote Shedd’s latest CD, “Louder Than You Can Hear.” It’s a title that is both metaphorical and literal for Shedd, whose music grew both louder and stronger in the last three years. “I’ve had a band ever since ‘Blue,’ but this is the first four-piece,” says Shedd. “It’s still pop (music), but it has more dynamics and heavier guitars – not like punk rock or anything, but it’s not pretty pop music anymore.” On “Louder Than You Can Hear,” Shedd trades her light, fragile vocals for stronger, more straightforward sound. At times Shedd’s voice recalls Liz Phair, and the contrast of her voice against jangley and distortion-driven guitars makes songs such as “Wednesday’s the New Thursday” and the album’s 11th, hidden track, all the more powerful. Shedd says the transition has provided her with a different dynamic in making music – the whole band contributes, though Shedd says she brings the band an outline for songs – and garnered a better response from fans. “We’re getting a bigger reaction,” she says. “Before if (I was) playing a coffeehouse show – even though I had a band, it was very light, girl vocals. It’s really hard to sell (that) in clubs and bars. With this band, it’s working better. It’s more appropriate.” Still, Shedd does throw bands an occasional acoustic bone. At a recent show in Portland, Shedd and her bandmates unplugged their instruments and performed acoustic. Shedd also takes time out of some sets to perform songs off her earlier records, though she says fans should expect shows to sound exactly like the record, and vice versa. “(The record) is exactly what you’ve just heard – that’s definitely our selling point as a live show,” she says. ~ Kimberly E. Mock

Tracy Shedd, a veteran songwriter with a backing band of Boston scenesters, has crafted an album that takes cues from shoegaze and noise pop and infusesa modern attitude. The ten tracks (plus 4 bones tracks) run the indie gamut from quiet ballads to loud rockers to feedback-driven guitar noise anthems. Louder Than You Can Hear is a departure for Tracy Shedd in more ways than one. With this album, she and her accompanying musicians have come together more as a band and this translates into a bigger sound. Rather than Shedd herself being the forefront, there is an equal emphasis on James Tritten’s guitar, Richard Dudley’s bass and Cash Carter’s explosive drums. This wide emphasis erases some of the negative space of many solo efforts and offers more dimension and dynamic. It shows a band that practices together and knows the other members’ strengths and weaknesses, unlike a studio band that has to follow directions. Secondly, the band has adopted Florida as their home. Bands that record in urban areas sometimes have a claustrophobic aura about them. With the wide expanses of Florida as a backdrop and the low-key hustle and bustle of Jacksonville, the music has more room to breathe, but in a way, they’ve stripped some of the liveliness. As a songwriter, Shedd’s demure female vocals bring forth swirly reminiscences as sounds explode and recede on a whim and the controlled feedback creates more somber mood. “Wednesday’s The New Thursday” is a good microcosm of the album because it features smooth double-tracked vocals by Shedd and the kinetic energy that the band harnesses to slam the song home. ~ Adam Crepeau

Just when you’ve pegged Tracy Shedd as a wistful singer-songwriter, she brings out a wall of feedback. Her third album, Louder Than You Can Hear, is vulnerable and melodic even in its noisiest moments, with healthy proportions of hush and fuzz. ~ M.J. Fine

THE ONION {September 2004}
Florida-based singer-songwriter Tracy Shedd names her latest album Louder Than You Can Hear for a reason: On it, she ditches some of the gentleness of her two prior records in favor of the more fleshed-out rocking she does on stage. Still, fans of twee bands like Belle And Sebastian or Camera Obscura should find something to love.

LIVE SHOW REVIEW: Tracy Shedd / Ill Lit, Atomic Lounge, Albuquerque, NM 9/19/04
We saw Ill Lit and Tracy Shedd at this little no nothing bar for no cover and it was fantastic. Probably only twenty or so people their, very personal performance. I’d only heard one or two Tracy Shedd songs before, kinda Juliana Hatfieldish (in her slightly louder moments,) but in person they were pretty fuckin’ loud. Good lead guitarist (Tracy’s husband) and a very tight rhythm section. They almost overcame the horrible acoustics, but a pleasent surprise. ~ moenkopi46_2

AMPLIFIER {September 2004}
After a pair of singer/songwritery folk/pop gems on Teenbeat, Floridian Tracy Shedd brings a more fully realized band atmosphere to her Devil In The Woods debut, Louder Than You Can Hear, Shedd sports a gentle approach suggesting an intersection between Aimee Mann’s warmth (“End Of The Night”) and Holly Golightly’s chill (“One By One”) and then balances it with the energetic distortion of a poppier Death Cab For Cutie / Clem Snide spin on Jesus & Mary Chain or My Bloody Valentine (“If You Really Cared About Me You Would Have Kept In Touch For All Those Years”). There is still a deep vein of confessional vulnerbility running through Shedd’s songs, but her journal entry lyrics are open and reflective without being manipulatively self-absorbed, and the mood of the words is well matched by her emo/pop gyrations. ~ Brian Baker

SPONIC ZINE {Fall 2004}
LIVE SHOW REVIEW: June Panic / Tracy Shedd / Elephant Micah, The Hi-Dive, Denver, CO 9/27/04
…Then came the biggest surprise, Tracy Shedd, a band with which I was entirely unfamiliar. Comprised of former Cadets drummer Cash Carter, bassist Richard Dudley, guitarist James Tritten and (of course) singer/guitarist Tracy Shedd, the Jacksonville, Fla.-based outfit is touring in support of its new disc, Louder than You Can Hear (Devil in the Woods). Apparently it’s a departure from the quieter, more sensitive stuff they used play in their Teenbeat days. Either way, their new songs are brick-solid and positively unforgettable. The band expertly blended chiming guitar arpeggios, muscular yet pretty vocal melodies (a la Versus), and all kinds of rhythmic whup-ass, courtesy of the highly-animated bass and drums interplay. James Tritten’s furious, ever-shifting guitar work added gauzy momentum to the angular arrangements, while Shedd’s crystal-clear vocals provided the emotional immediacy to make the songs work. Even if the band’s previous albums are more restrained than their new stuff, I’m still going to seek them out. ~ John Wenzel

PULSE {September 2004}
Formerly frail folkie Tracy Shedd has bulked up the sound for her third record, Louder Than You Can Hear, and the results are nothing short of wondrous. Proving that music other than Creed and insipid boy bands can come from Florida, Jacksonville’s Shedd and her crack band – which includes her husband James Tritten on lead guitar, bassist Richard Dudley and drummer Cash Carter – have crafted a lengthy 14-song treatise on the joys of slightly frayed dueling electric guitar pop. Shedd’s clear, airy voice is the perfect counterpart to Tritten’s alternately clean trills and searing distortion. Shedd was formerly on Teenbeat Records, and her band’s sound is at times akin to the intricate gossamer-guitar style of former labelmates Aden, but on the whole, Shedd’s found her own singularly rockin’ new sound sure to delight in the live setting. ~ Rob Van Alstyne

VENUS ZINE {Fall 2004}
Having recently outgrown the singer-songwriter label and all its trappings, Tracy Shedd’s third release, Louder Than You Can Hear, finds her with her first regular backing band, delivering songs every bit as intimate as what can be heard on such previous releases as Blue and Red, only with a much fuller and richer sound. As usual, it’s Shedd’s songwriting skills along with her airy, breathy vocals that take center stage, especially on tracks like the catchy opener “Inside Out” and the fun and quirky “Jumping Waves.” However, the rest of the band have their moments in the spotlight as well, especially drummer Cash Carter, who shines brightest on “Try And Get Some Rest” and the almost danceable, rocknroll tune “Wednesday’s The New Thursday.” As for guitarist-husband James Tritten, he provides the atmospheric feel to “End Of The Night,” while really showing off his rocknroll chops on “Sugar, Please.” It’s the band as a whole, though, including bassist Richard Dudley, who provides the sound that really makes Louder Than You Can Hear a departure for Shedd. There’s a big, booming quality to many of the songs (“If You Really Cared About Me You Would Have Kept In Touch For All Those Years” and “Something Out There”) that adds a beautiful contrast to her music that was otherwise missing before. While fans usually cringe at the concept of an artist growing and evolving, Shedd does so naturally and gracefully, and while entirely obvious, doesn’t distract in the least and only further serves to shine a spotlight on the true talent that she is. ~ Dean Ramos

EL PASO TIMES – TIEMPO {September 2004}
‘Working-class band takes time off for El Paso show’. The members of Tracy Shedd – and indie quartet from Jacksonville, Fla. – have day jobs. Lead singer Tracy Shedd is an office manager for an opinion research firm; her husband, guitarist James Tritten, is the director of the audio/visual department at the Ritz-Carlton; bass player Richard Dudley works for an insurance company; and drummer Cash Carter is a chef. When this merry band of Jacksonville working stiffs are not pushing pencils or pasta, they are busy in the recording studio or on tour. “You always have to keep the day job,” Shedd said in a phone interview from (where else?) her job in Jacksonville. “All of us have great bosses who support the art scene. My boss encourages me to go. He wants to see me suceed. I’m just lucky. Not everybody gets that in their job, I am very fortunate to have his support. Tracy Shedd will perform Saturday at the T Lounge. The band’s music has been described as guitar pop, as cross between the Smiths and My Bloody Valentine. “The response has been great,” Shedd said. “Typically when you see a girl band, it is a lighter sound. I think I take people by surprise. When they see it, they go, ‘Whew, I wasn’t expecting that.’ ” The band just released its third full-length CD, “Louder Than You Can Hear” (Devil In The Woods Records). “The live shows used to be a lot louder than the CD,” she said. “Before, when I first had the two albums ‘Blue’ and ‘Red’ on Teenbeat (their old label), we were playing the live shows and people were taking the CDs home. They liked it, but it was completely different. It wasn’t representing what we were doing live. The band changed labels, went back to the studio and released “Louder” in August. “This album represents more of what we are doing now,” Shedd said. “It’s even more intense when you see it live. There are layered guitars and more distortion.” Tracy Shedd last played in El Paso in July 2002 at the Regal Begal. “That was our last big tour,” Shedd said. “We loved El Paso. The people were very friendly.” The band has been touring steadily – as steadily as their jobs permit – one week here, two weeks there. “We are hoping to get back on the road early next year; we are just going to see how this tour goes first,” Shedd said. “We are feeling really good about it.” Maybe good enough to break away from the rat race and make touring and playing a full-time gig. “If we had to, we would all make that sacrafice,” Shedd said. ” We just don’t feel the need is there yet. We are getting there, but we don’t want to put all our eggs in one basket yet.” ~ Victor R. Martinez

L.A. WEEKLY {September 2004}
MUSIC PICK OF THE WEEK. Wreathed in gentle guitar arpeggios, Tracy Shedd’s songs have a confessional intimacy not unlike the balladry of Barbara Manning, Mary Lou Lord and Scotland’s Camera Obscura. Backed by an electric band on her third album, Louder Than You Can Hear (Devil in the Woods), the Jacksonville singer-songwriter juices up the arrangements of “Sugar, Please” and “Wednesday’s the New Thursday,” which begin with her spare, languid intonations before building and blossoming into fuzz-shrouded codas. Although there are beguiling quieter interludes on the new CD, it’s guitarist James Tritten’s shoegazer layering on ruefully romantic tracks like “If You Really Cared About Me You Would Have Kept in Touch for All Those Years” that gives Shedd’s folkie ruminations a deeper, more psychedelic mood of enchantment. ~ James Moreland

INDIEWORKSHOP.COM {September 2004}
For those of you who may be familiar with music of Tracy Shedd, her third record, “Louder Than You Can Hear” is a step past her previous efforts. Having released two singer songwriter type records on the Teenbeat label, her approach has definitely changed with her first release on Devil In The Woods. ““Straying from the typical singer songwriter formula with bare bones arrangements emphasizing the lyrics and vocal, she has come back with a very full and at times rocking record that is very pleasing to the ears. The sound of this record is at times very much reminiscent of Olympia popsters The Softies, especially vocally. The major difference, however, here lies in the dynamics, intricacies, and intensity of the overall sound of these songs. Complex guitars and rhythm sections propel the sweet and simple pop melodies along with rocking outbursts of energy throughout the record. Some more textured and moody songs such as “Try And Get Some Rest” bring to mind the band Tsunami, but with a more textured vocal and wall of sound guitar approach. “Sugar, Please” is a standout track that has an ethereal beginning before bursting into an amazing chorus that is heavy on the guitar while delivering a memorable vocal hook. The twelfth track, (songs 10 through 14 are unlisted for some reason), showcases a driving melody that blows up into a rich and powerful chorus. Shedd’s music brings to mind a lot of indie pop girl fronted groups. The comparisons are not a negative thing as her well thought out and crafted pop songs are propelled by a lot of intensity and originality that make her sound her own. A lot of this record reminds me of the way a lot of college indie rock sounded in the early 90’s with a lot of melody and dynamics, while mastering the quiet to loud thing, definitely a good thing for someone who misses that sort of thing. ~ Jay

SLUG MAG {August 2004}
Tracy Shedd = Sleater Kinney + Ida + Chubby Bunny. The title of Tracy Shedd ’s third album is an indication of the impact she at least hopes it will make, leaving the singer-songwriter role behind for that of the titular head of the band. The Jacksonville, Fla., artist’s voice is still the centerpiece of sometimes verbosely personal songs like, “If You Really Cared About Me, You Would Have Kept in Touch All These Years.” The scope of these short stories is made larger by the broader sonic palette from which she draws. Her airy vocals are always a breath of fresh air, even in the rush of guitar and drum and emotional assault. ~ Stakerized!

Musicianship means nothing if you’ve got a band full of instrumentalists who don’t play well with others. One of the strengths of Tracy Shedd is the balance in the songwriting. “End of the Night” begins with catchy, somewhat swing-esque drums that are soon accompanied by a pleasing bassline. Appropriate guitars join next, then vocals, and the entire vibe of the song shifts seamlessly as it progresses. This band genuinely works well together, and you can hear it in their songs. The mood of Lounder Than You Can Hear is wistful and sometimes sad, but the album won’t leave you feeling mopey. If you’re looking for that quick descriptive phrase so you can properly classify Tracy Shedd, try beautiful indie-pop. Support local music and check out Louder Than You Can Hear. Listen to: End of the Night, Jumping Waves, Conley (The Flying The Kite Version). ~ Whitney Weiss

The marriage of melody and dissonance in music is obviously not a recent development, but when executed creatively, it still has the ability to excite. On Louder Than You Can Hear , Tracy Shedd accents her compositions with Sonic Youth-influenced noise dynamics that embellish the subtle beauty of her jangling guitar work and breathy vocals. The album’s adventurous instrumentation is difficult to ignore, drawing comparisons to A.C. Newman’s fractured indie-pop (with and without Zumpano and The New Pornographers) and the grand, head-ringing anthems of Ted Leo and The Pharmacists. Limiting their compositions to rock’s standard tools of guitars, a bass and drums, Shedd and her excellent cast of support players (James Tritten on guitar, Richard Dudley on bass and Cash Carter on drums) push the pop envelope with ambitious playing. Opener “Inside Out” is a perfect introduction to the band’s grandiose intentions: Carter’s skittering drumming drives the track, while a pair of lingering guitar melodies wrap around each other, creating remarkable depth. Shedd’s vocals resound despite their serene, Juliana Hatfield-esque frailty. When she sings, “My voice, slightly soaring / A soft voice, slightly going away”, it can be read as a perfect self-realization: her voice soars in its softness. It should be constantly on the verge of fading beneath the dense instrumentation, but instead seems to function conversely, as though the rest of the band were being held under water while Shedd hangs over the surface, whispering her words back down at them. An overdubbed vocal breakdown allows her voice to linger in reverb-drenched, Beach Boys-style harmonies; these, ironically, bring about the track’s sonic crescendo, despite the fact that most of the other instruments have stopped functioning. Likewise, “If You Really Cared About Me You Would Have Kept In Touch For All Those Years” achieves its grandiosity through the interplay of the band’s impenetrable instrumentation and Shedd’s anchored vocals. Much like Ted Leo’s most densely rollicking work on The Tyranny Of Distance , the track chugs along on pummeling kick-drums and cymbals and a wall of rapidly-strummed guitars, which embellish the melodic sweetness of Shedd’s meandering vocals. While it’s less adventurous and less detailed than many of the album’s other tracks, its soaring dissonance marks it as the album’s most intensely atmospheric composition. Alternating between such tightly concentrated pieces (“End Of The Night”, “Something Out There”), crunching power-pop numbers (“Try And Get Some Rest”, “Sugar Please”) and pieces that perfectly meld the two forms (“Jumping Waves”, “Wednesday’s The New Thursday”), Louder Than You Can Hear is an engagingly varied listen. Louder and more ambitious than Shedd’s Teenbeat releases ( Blue (2001) and Red (2003)), its intricately-detailed collision of pop and dissonance marks it as an exceptional achievement. ~ Rob Moran

MYSTERY & MISERY {July 2004}
Sometimes you find a decent singer/songwriter who has a terrible band. Eventually, you will write off the artist because their backing band, for the lack of a better term, sucks. Tracy Shedd is a singer/songwriter who actually has a decent band. Her lyrics and musical approach remind me of Juliana Hatfield, Throwing Muses, and Belly. The band even has the 90s Boston indie sound. ~ Atom

BIGGER IS BETTER: The sonic treats showcased on this Jacksonville-based band’s upcoming album, “Louder Than You Can Hear” (out Aug. 17), are an expansion on the confessional folk-rock of its frontwoman and namesake’s earlier Teenbeat releases. Intricate guitar pop that’s in love with both the Smiths and My Bloody Valentine, but less art-damaged and noisy than the latter and more ramshackle than the former. Think Mazzy Star with a caffeine buzz and a few Death Cab for Cutie records. ~ Shane Harrison

MAGIC {June 2004}
On passera rapidement sur l’énervement et la lassitude éprouvés lorsqu’il faut, une fois encore, inscrire la scandaleuse mention “import” pour indiquer la provenance d’un disque publié par l’un des tous meilleurs labels de ces vingt dernières années. Les rares privilégiés qui auraient donc eu la chance de saisir au vol, il y a trois ans, les débuts prometteurs et confidentiels de Tracy Shedd devront sans doute déployer les mêmes trésors de patience et d’énergie pour dénicher cet impeccable successeur. Blueen 2001. Redtrois ans plus tard. La jeune protégée de Mark Robinson, fan de Krzysztof Kieslowski, comme on pouvait s’en douter, poursuit son oeuvre balbutiante en forme d’énumération chromatique. Une deuxième teinte qui ne jure pas, loin de là , avec la première. On y retrouve le charme discret et dépouillé dont les membres de l’écurie Teenbeat ont souvent le secret. Sans autres artifices que les arpèges cadencés d’une guitare tranchante, épaulés par une section rythmique toujours élémentaire, Shedd déroule quatorze vignettes introspectives qui charment par leur fragilité. Cette voix sur le fil, parfois proche du murmure, évoque l’étouffement et la perte de soi de manière d’autant plus convaincante qu’elle semble à tout moment menacée de disparition, noyée dans une musique qui la submerge. Les mélodies apparemment rudimentaires et glaciales s’insinuent comme par magie dans les oreilles les plus rétives. Peut-être manque-t-il encore à Shedd une certaine capacité à varier ses effets et à emprunter d’autres formes, plus inattendues que celles déjà tracées par les canons du folk. Une prise de risque que la jeune femme semble elle-même prête à assumer, si l’on en croit le titre de son troisième album, résolument électrifié, à paraître cette année : Louder Than You Can Hear. En attendant, ce coup de Rougeplein de grâce suffira amplement à étancher notre soif d’émotions subtiles. ~ Matthieu Grunfeld

1) “Louder Than You Can Hear” is a bit of a departure from you previous releases—how would you describe your new approach and what brought the change about? ~ Actually, this is not a new sound. It just simply was never captured before. We had been working on the idea of having a second guitarist just before “Red” was recorded, but unfortunately things just did’nt work out with the two guitarist we tried out. So, we went into the studio as a trio and worked with what we had. After the recording was finished, I really wanted to have that second guitarist for the live shows. There was so many pieces to the music that were just undertones on the recording, but I felt were very important to the live show. So my husband James, who used to be our drummer and was retired from the music industry, joined in. He had noticed my frustrations with the line up changes and volunteered to do one show for fun. One show was all it took and we all knew this was it! From that point on, we began to rework some of the old favorites and write what became “Louder Than You Can Hear”. 2) What did you discover about yourself during the recording of “Louder…” ~ I learned that even under pressure, I am still able to create what used to take me months to do. When we sent our demo into DIW, Mike Cloward turned around saying he wanted to release the next record, and he wanted the finished product in six weeks… but the artwork had to be finished in two weeks!!! We only had three of the ten new songs written at that point, so we not only had to write the seven other songs, but we had to have all of the words confirmed, as well as the song order! I also learned how to break my songs down and restructure them into something that I may not have envisioned at first. For example, when ‘Try And Get Some Rest’, was brought to the table it was a quite acoustic piece that I really enjoyed playing. After showing the band, they had visions of a power rock/pop song with loads of heavy cords and an explosive drum beat! It was a long hard day between the four of us, trying to compromise on where to take the song. In the end, the boys got what they wanted and I figured I would just give them this one. But, after the final mix of all of the songs… it became my favorite song on the album! That was a big learning lesson for me as a songwriter. 3) What do you see as the main difference between the singer/songwriter approach versus presenting your songs with a full band? ~ As a band, there are four songwriters involved. Everyone adds something to the song, as with ‘Try And Get Some Rest’. I think this is what makes us so unique. I begin the writing process as a “singer/songwriter”, but then when Richard, James, & Cash write their parts to the songs, …that is what makes the sound of Tracy Shedd! I would say we have the best of both worlds! 4) Do you feel your back catalog of songs will easily make the transition with you and your band? ~ Most definitely! “Blue” & “Red” are still great albums that were recorded, for the most part, with the same great musicians. They were different phases in our career, and we are very proud of them. I think fans will enjoy the different tones of each record. 5) Where do your songs come from? What space are you in when you write? ~ In the past few years, I really had to be alone to write music. The day-to-day distractions of life would really keep me from reaching deep down in my heart. I’ve learned how to work past this on this record. I have always enjoyed relaxing in our house, with a glass of wine, sitting in our Florida Room, writing on my $100 acoustic guitar. But “Louder Than You Can Hear” took over our entire house! Scott Madgett brought over all of his studio gear and turned each room, including our bedroom, into a full blown recording studio! So, I had no where to go to relax and write. But I am very proud of myself for being able to work past this, and we all agree that these songs are some of the best songs we’ve ever written! 6) Is there a particular description of Tracy Shedd music that doesn’t sit well with you? ~ I would say that there have been a few descriptions that have not sat well with me. I think, for the most part, people have been right-on with how they have described our music. I have learned how to read reviews and descriptions lately, filtering out the crap, but learning from what others have to say when they are making a genuine suggestion or comment. Their reviews may be coming from their heart just as much as my music is from mine. 7) What is the ideal live situation for you? ~ A good sounding room is most important to me. Whether I am playing my music acoustically or with the band. Now, if you were to ask the other members, they would answer “Anywhere that has enough power to allow us to turn our amps up all the way, and that has a high enough ceiling to allow guitars to be thrusted up in the air and enough running room for a good dive into the drum set, if we ever should chose to do so!” 8) Do you prefer being called a songwriter or a musician or both? Explain? ~ Either way, it does not really bother me. I guess we are more of songwriters, though. We all learned our instruments by ear; we did not go to school or take lessons on the instruments we play. 9) What’s the best thing a reviewer can say about your new record? ~ The sarcastic answer: That it is the best record of all time! That they are never going to take it out of their cd player, and they are going to buy 1,000,000 copies for all of their friends! The real answers: That this record touched their heart somehow. That they are going to include one of these tracks on a Mix Tape for a friend. That they really enjoy what we are doing as a band and can’t wait to hear the next record. 10) What’s the biggest misinterpretation about the obstacles women face in rock? ~ The biggest misinterpretation about the obstacles women face in rock is that there are obstacles women face in rock. You create your own obstacles in life (in rock). 11) On any given day do you prefer long drawn out bouts of feedback or do you prefer short bursts of sheer volume? Or neither and why? ~ Both, I can appreciate eight to ten minute long bouts of feedback bands like Sonic Youth, Smashing Pumpkins, and The Jesus & Mary Chain are known for, as well as the short bursts of volume you expect from +/-, Stereolab, and Fugazi. 12) What’s your most unlikely musical influence? Who’s your biggest influence last week? Who’s your biggest influence overall? ~ I think my most unlikely influence is Sonic Youth. I was really into Sonic Youth back in 1989, when they were into their more experimental/noise sound. Richard brings this up every time I mention that I think we have too much distortion or feedback going on! He is always saying, “Look at your record collection!” I think this is where I have changed on this record; recognizing some of the other sounds I really do like, that people might not expect from my music. Ted Leo is probably one of our biggest influences right now. He is a tour staple in our CD player! Cash has always been a really big fan, but only recently had James and myself taken to the sweet sound of Ted Leo! As for my biggest influence over all, I would have to say it is a tie between My Bloody Valentine and Sonic Youth. Getting back to what Richard always says, this may be hard for people to believe with the music you will find on “Blue” and “Red”, but I also feel that this is why “Louder Than You Can Hear” is such a great record and the band feels so right these days… because we are beginning to hit on what gets me going in the morning! 13) When things get shitty on tour do you take the wheel of the van or do you retreat to the back and let things work themselves out? ~ I don’t let things sit too long. We all get along very well, so truthfully there are not many shitty times. But if I feel something is funny, we address it and move on. Touring is a time to have fun. If you are not having fun on the road, what is the point. You don’t make money on the road; sometimes you actually end up paying to be out… so why would you do it if you’re not having fun. That is why so many bands don’t last on the road; they don’t get it. 14) The worst town you’ve played in and why? ~ There really is not a town that I would say was bad or that I would not go back to. I am privileged to have the opportunity to play in all the cities I have played in and I think just as highly of Tyler, TX as I do of New York, NY! ~ Chris Watson

SKYSCRAPER {Spring 2004}
Red, the second album from singer-songwriter Tracy Shedd, is a genuine indie pop record. Though I do enjoy the music, there is something that has always made me feel awry about it. Maybe it’s the ground upon which it’s built – one of blameless memories, hopeful observations and daydreamt fantasies that are wrapped in a shroud of innocence. I always feel like the artists are hiding behind something. In “He Hangs Gently,” Shedd enviously observes a stranger who “has nothing to hide.” This may be because “words can’t complete how I’m feeling now,” as Shedd so clearly puts it. This reasoning may be enough for the warm nostalgia and feelings of regret and remembrance that Red so finely encapsulates. With clear guitars, supple drums and sad vocals, Shedd makes hers a clear case of savvy eclecticism. It may not be the harsh reality that I may choose to endure with my common musical taste, but it will make good for long winter car rides and mix tapes. ~ Brian Foley

Purveyors of sophisticated, lyrical pop music have seemed more successful in breaking free of the coffeehouse-and-beret image given us in previous decades. Maybe part of the reason for that success is, ironically, that the popularity of that kind of pop has waned. I mean, do you see how much dust has collected on your Sundays CDs? To the great benefit of all of us, however, this doesn’t mean that no one is making sweet, airy pop records that are free of hard-edged angst but still offer plenty of brow-furrowed introspection. Aimee Mann and Death Cab for Cutie, among others, have staked out the territory of the straight-faced, resigned look at the bitter realities of love and post-love. Evan Dando (post-rehab) and his sometime collaborator Juliana Hatfield take on the same concerns, though with a more youthful petulance in their tone. I think that Tracy Shedd, on Red , her second release, is aiming for a spot somewhere between the two. Her band has some of Death Cab’s casually sophisticated pop sensibility, and her lyrics are introspective ‘blog’ entries of narrative. Shedd sings with some of Hatfield’s ability to disarm using a soft, cracking voice that breathily murmurs her lyrics, with her voice so deep in the mix that it always threatens to be completely overwhelmed by the music. On many songs, such as “Eleven,” this translates as warmth, a sense of a low-lit recording studio with plenty of candles and incense around. The other side of that coin is that Shedd seems often too timid in her delivery, as though she’s unsure of herself. Many songs feel as though they could have been sung more confidently, trading the green tea with lemon for a stiff shot of espresso. It’s easy to be reductive about this brand of pop songwriting, but Shedd avoids the pitfalls of sounding like either a sad sack or a narcissist as she traverses her songs’ tricky emotional terrain. Only, it takes a few listens to realize this. The songs drift out of the speakers so gently that at first they just drift right by you. Shedd’s vocal style is so nondescript that it takes the subtle, clever work of the rhythm section to buttonhole you if you’re listening close enough. To be fair, though, all of the artists I mentioned earlier, especially Death Cab, often have this same dynamic (I won’t call it a “problem”). If Tracy Shedd can find a way to make her lovely voice more of an instrument in the talented ensemble that she’s assembled, then she’ll be well on her way to becoming a kind of female Josh Ritter, which would be a great achievement indeed. ~ George

RAG MAGAZINE {February 2004}
This is from Tracy Shedd’s Friendster profile: Interests: Hollandaise sauce, lemonade, cooking, dirty martinis, loud guitars, soft guitars, yoga, activities in the snow, dancing, wine, plants, vinyl, traveling, soap. Favorite movies: Red, Delicatessen, Harold and Maude, The Royal Tenenbaums, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Some Kind of Wonderful, Amelie, E.T., The Double Life of Veronique. Favorite Music: Sonic Youth, Al Green, Otis Redding, My Morning Jacket, Ella, Rachels, Magnetic Fields, The Smiths, Nick Drake, My Bloody Valentine. She says that her friends suckered her into Friendster, but I am not so sure. The Jacksonville based singer songwriter who is supporting her second release for eclectic indie label Teenbeat Records, seems to be a shy person off stage. On stage she rocks out behind a wall of guitars and distortion. It’s that juxtaposition that makes Tracy Shedd (and her band) an interesting outfit. Shedd’s indie rock sound is peppered with soft vocals that have an affect, because sometimes it’s what you don’t hear that leaves an impression. Rag: How long have you been performing? Tracy: For ten years. At age six I started playing the piano. I also played the trumpet all through elementary and high school. I picked up guitar after high school Rag: Have you always done singer songwriter type stuff? Tracy: I started playing guitar in band with my “now husband” James Tritten. We were a three piece called Sella. We played out for a few years in The Jacksonville, Fl area. I was the singer in the band. It wasn’t until around 96, I think, that I started playing under Tracy Shedd, my maiden name and was called a singer songwriter. This was probably because I played by myself, but now the name represents a whole band that goes under Tracy Shedd. I decided to keep the name out of respect for my father who has always been supportive of my music! Rag: How is it in Jacksonville? Tracy: Pretty cool. Jacksonville is a unique place. I like coming back here after a tour because it is such a relaxing place for me. It feels nice to know I am living in the biggest city, okay almost the biggest city, in the USA and if feels “small town”, if you know what I mean! Rag: Have you found support in the music scene there? Tracy: What a tricky question. When I was a teenager back in the early nineties there was a pretty cool scene here and I was told while I was living in Boston during 1998 through 2001 that it was pretty cool too. Einstein’s A-Go Go, the best dance club ever, contributed to that cool scene! Jacksonville is still growing. As far as finding support here, well, Jacksonville has more of an alt-country southern rock thing going, which there is nothing wrong with some good southern rock once in a while, but it’s a little hard to get accepted in a city that thrives on this style of music. Well, actually there is a punk scene too, but again I don’t really fit in that category either. Rag: Blue was released in 2001, and Red this year. Why did you decide to record and continue to play with a full band? Tracy: I have been through a lot of changes this year. I have played with three different guitarist, lost my bass player for a few weeks because he was moving back to Boston, then got my bass player back because he decided to stay… gained a new drummer after loosing my husband as the old drummer because he had to take a new job, um lets see, oh and now my husband is back in the band on guitar, yeah that about sums it up. No, really I am having a blast playing with my band. We all mesh very well together and we are all a great support to each other, musically and mentally! Rag: Has that changed your writing style? Tracy: No, not at all. Although, we did write our first band song a few months ago called “Louder Than You Can Hear” and that was fun. But the majority of my songs are not written with everyone in the same room because I am most creative alone. Rag: Do you ever feel vulnerable on stage? Tracy: Not anymore. I am a lot more confident than I was, say three years ago. I think that just comes with practice. The more I play live the more I like it. Rag: Is it different now that you’re with a band? Tracy: It’s louder, fuller and more rock than when I was playing with just a drummer. Rag: I’m curious about your writing process—is it easy for you to write songs? Have you ever struggled with writer’s block? How important is it for you that people are able to relate to your words? Tracy: It comes in spurts or if I have a pen and paper handy. As long as the music is moving people in some way, that’s the most important, as long as it has some affect. Rag: Listening to Red, it seems very quiet compared to your live show. Is this intentional or just kind of how things worked out? Tracy: It’s just kind of how things worked out. I fought it for a while, but I have embraced the r.o.c.k. The music keeps evolving everyday! Rag: How do you feel about Red now that you’ve been playing the songs for a while? Tracy: I still enjoy playing the songs. Some of the new songs off of Red have a new sound since we added a second guitarist who likes to fly the kite. Definition of fly the kite: holding your guitar in the air and swaying it all around while playing it and occasionally taking out lights on stage. Rag: How did you hook up with Teenbeat? Tracy: I am friends with Mark Robinson who runs the label. Rag: Would you ever move to a major? Tracy: I guess it depends on the situation. Rag: Do you think that they could market you correctly? Tracy: I am not sure. Rag: This is the obligatory how do you feel about the current state of the music industry question. Tracy: According to my anonymous friend: “If Christina Aguilera would just sing all Steven Merrit songs all we be good.” Rag: Is your music an accurate portrayal of your personality, or are there things that we aren’t seeing? Tracy: It’s a way for me to express myself…I would not say that it gives the fans an accurate or inaccurate portrayal of me, they would have to meet me to make that decision. Rag: What’s going on with the new EP? Tracy: We are still deciding on how we want to release the new seven-song recording we did with our Friend Scott Madgett and mixed with our friend Trevor Kampmann from the band Holland in NYC last week. So, it’s all in the works as we speak in regards to how we are going to release these songs…the rumor is, we may do a 7” with some of the songs maybe even a split 7” with a friend. It’s too early to tell. Rag: —What’s the one cd that you can’t live with out? Tracy: Sonic Youth’s Daydream Nation. We own it on vinyl. ~ Juliett Rowe

Indie rock in that traditional, limber/humble/catchy way ala Versus and Frente!. No embellishments, just guitar/bass/drums (with some occasional violins) playing four chords every bar and topped off with meat-and-potatoes melodies (they sure don’t make ’em like this anymore). Tracy Shedd almost reminds me of Victory At Sea’s roomy aesthetics and what-you-see-is-what-you-get melodic approach, minus the thundering explosions, of course. Red will fit nicely next to your Rosie Thomas and Denison Witmer records. ~ Timothy Den

METRO POP {January 2004}
Singer/songwriter Tracy Shedd deals eloquently, if not very imaginatively, with the heartaches and subtle tragedies of love not working out the way that you think it is supposed to. Moving on from her 2001 debut, on which she handled pretty much everything, to a full lineup on ‘Red,’ her songs sound a bit like unrest, circa ‘Imperial,’ which any fan of sensitive indie rock will understand as a wonderful thing. This is a musical space that is about as gutsy as frail, tender indie rock (the kind of music that doesn’t even attempt to deal with the aggression of emo) is going to get. Her delivery throughout expresses a willingness to keep a stiff upper lip, and if you’ve ever been hurt by love, you have an idea of where she’s coming from. Not that this kind of thing hasn’t been covered before, but this album is pretty moving. ~ Rich Tull

STYLUS MAGAZINE {January 2004}
TRACY SHEDD – Red – Shedd’s sophomore full-length (her first record being 2001’s Blue) is a beautiful meeting of intimate songwriting and lyricism with simple, sparse instrumentation. Add the occasional swell of strings, clean guitars and a heartbreaking voice, and Red becomes a fantastic narrative seemingly ripped from what might be Shedd’s introspective diary. I hesitate to compare to other artists (as always), but there are melodic and vocal echoes of Rainer Maria (albeit quieter) and the laid-back intensity (?) of former labelmate Versus. Recommended. ~ BMS

WWW.ALLMUSIC.COM {December 2003}
Tracy Shedd is a slowcore singer/songwriter specializing in heartfelt, fragile compositions. Her vulnerable muse, aided by spare instrumentation, places her amongst artists such as Damien Jurado ,Hayden , and Spent . (She could also be compared to many artists from the Sarah Records stable.) She released her debut album, Blue , on Teenbeat Records in 2001. Shedd, the daughter of a country music singer, was born and raised in Jacksonville, FL, and studied classical piano throughout her childhood. As a teenager in the early ’90s, she was a member of the indie group Sella . In 1998, she relocated to Boston to pursue her music only to return to settle in Jacksonville a few years later with her husband and guitarist, James Tritten.

WWW.FROSCHBISS.DE {December 2003}
Durch einen Link wurde ich zufällig zu der Musik von Tracy Shedd geführt. Ihr in 2001 auf Teenbeat erschienenes Album “Blue” enthält neun grandiose Popsongs, die mich wirklich begeistern. Ich hatte, dass Glück, dass sie bereit war, mir auf ein paar Fragen per Email zu antworten. Tracy Shedd kam schon früh mit Musik in Berührung, da ihre Mutter eine Countrysängerin ist, sie schon als Kind Piano spielen gelernt und während der Highschool auch Trompete gespielt hat. Sie spielt immer noch Piano, aber die Trompete hat sie schon seit Jahren nicht mehr angepackt. Wie sie mir mitgeteilt hat, sei Musik eines der wichtigsten Dinge in ihrem Leben. Als ihre Einflüsse nennte sie unter anderem Cocteau Twins, His Name is Alive, PJ Harvey, Sonic Youth, Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, Magnetic Fields. Tracy spielte früher in der Indierockband Sella. Auf die Frage, ob die Phase für ihre musikalische Entwicklung wichtig war, teilte sie mir folgendes mit: “Ja, Sella war die erste Band in der ich zusammen mit meinem Ehemann gespielt habe. Wir klangen in etwa wie eine Mischung aus Echo and the Bunnymen, Sonic Youth, The Cure und Mortal Coil. Das ist alles schon lange her. Wir hatten viel Spass und konnten als Musiker wachsen. Ich denke, es war so um 1995, als wir alle unseren eigenen Weg gingen und uns entschlossen Freunde zu bleiben. Nach der Auflösung entschloss sich mein Ehemann James dazu, die Band Audio Explorations zu gründen. Ich startet zu der Zeit meine Solokarriere. Das war eine gut Enscheidung. Wir gingen alle in unterschiedliche Richtungen. Same colour, different shade.” Ihre Texte sind sehr persönlich und man hat den Eindruck, dass in ihnen viele Erlebnisse und Erfahrungen verarbeitet werden. “Die Texte definieren mein Leben. Sie sind sehr wichtig und bilden den Mittelpunkt meiner Musik.” Ihr Debut Album erschien auf Teenbeat, dem Label von Mark Robinson, das eher für Bands wie Unrest, The Rondelles oder Versus bekannt ist. Ruhige und unverzerrte Töne sind auf Teenbeat eher selten. Daher meine Frage, wie es zu dieser Zusammenarbeit kam. “Wir haben uns in der Zeit, als ich in Boston gelebt habe, kennengelernt. Mark und ich sind Freunde. Wir haben ein paar Shows zusammengespielt und er bot mir an, dass ich meine Musik auf Teenbeat herausbringen könnte. Man hat immer den Eindruck, wenn man mal im Internet surft, dass es in den USA ein riesiges Potenzial an Musikern und insbesondere auch Singer/Songwritern geben muss. Das ist für jemanden aus Deutschland kaum vorstellbar. Wir die krampfhaft nach unserem “Superstar” suchen und “Künstler” die Charts stürmen lassen, die wirklich fast keinen Ton treffen. Aber gute Musik und finanzieller Erfolg sind hier wie dort eh zwei verschiedene Schuhe. Also musste ich Tracy Shedd einfach fragen, wie sie die Situation in den USA sieht und ob sie von ihrer Musik leben kann. “Ich wünschte ich allein könnte von meiner Musik leben. Seitdem die Musikindustrie so übersättigt mit Singer/Songwritern ist, ist es wirklich schwierig ohne finanzielle Unterstützung über die Runden zu kommen. Vielleicht kann ich eines Tages von meiner Musik leben, aber sollte dies nicht geschehen, werde ich nicht enttäuscht sein, da ich dann sagen kann, dass ich meinen Traum gelebt habe. Als ihre momentanen Lieblingsalben gibt sie American Analog Set (Know by heart), Nick Drake (Five leaves left), Denison Witmer (Philadelphia songs), Les Savy Fav (The cat and the cobra), Sterolab (Transient random-noise bursts with announcements) an. Tracy Shedd bringt am 6.Oktober dieses Jahres ihr neues Album auf Teenbeat Records raus. Teenbeat Records hat einen weltweiten Vertrieb, so dass die Alben von jedem Plattenladen bestellt werden können. Das lässt hoffen, dass es ihr vielleicht die Gelegenheit beschert, auch außerhalb der USA Menschen für ihre Musik zu begeistern. ~ J.M.

“The show was AWESOME… Tracy Shedd KICKED ASS compared to the first time I saw her opening for the Mercury Program” ~ Keith Michaud

Tracy Shedd “Red” Teenbeat. If you are the type of person that periodically goes through bouts of having had as much as you’re ever going to take of singer/songwriter musicians, this is exactly the type of artist that brings you back into the fold. Slight melodies and a standard guitar/bass/drums/vocals setup are the backdrop for Shedd’s touching, emotive delivery. Wistful sorrow, subdued hurtfulness and post-melancholic assertion are the tricks of Shedd’s trade, and she’s not exactly pushing the boundaries of the ode to love lost. But like Lois Maffeo, Shedd has a knack for the assured, confident delivery that is bound by an unavoidable resonance of emotional pain. Also much like Maffeo, Tracy Shedd’s idiosyncratic take on the basics of soul-baring folk-rock renders fresh a format that rests solely upon the emotive capabilities of the performer. This is occasionally heartbreaking stuff, and “Red” is a fine compromise between subtly catchy guitar leads and tender, fragile vocals. The emotional weight of “Red”, which might otherwise threaten to be overbearing, is continually alleviated at just the right points. Following 2001’s “Blue”, this record sees Shedd Moving toward more complex compositions, most notably for the fact that she utilizes a full band here, as opposed to taking on guitar/vocal/keyboard duties by herself on the former release. “Red” works surprisingly well with a variety of listener’s moods, complimenting happiness with sweet tenderness and sorrow with reconciled grief.  ~ Cory O’Malley

Red, Tracy Shedd’s second album, is a surprisingly wonderful little album. Though her previous album, Blue, was a slice of sad-eyed folk songs, Red is a bit of a different record. Where the songs on Blue were spartian and threadbare, there’s a warmth to the songs on Red that cannot be denied. Instead of making songs that were, ahem, blue, her latest collection of songs are not necessarily any happier than her first set, but there’s a warmth to them that was missing the first time around. Red’s newfound warmth has a lot to do with her accompaniment. Backed up by a pretty rocking duo of Cash Carter (great name!) and bassist Richard Dudley, this trio makes a racket that’s very much reminsicent of another great, famous Teenbeat trio–Unrest. (It doesn’t hurt that Unrest mastermind Mark Robinson produced Red, either.) Indeed, the jingle-jangle nature of Red is less indebted to the folk world than it is to the sounds of mid-eighties to early-ninties indiepop. If you get the feeling Red sounds like a culmulation of all the things that defined Teenbeat Records, you’re not alone. It would be easy to trainspot the influences and nuances of her labelmates, but that would be too easy. After all, it’s never been a big secret that Robinson’s partial to bands whose sounds are indebted to the label; you could say that Aden, True Love Always and the various post-Versus projects owe a certain debt to the label ‘sound’, and if such is the case, then yes, Shedd is simply following suit and is keeping the ‘Teenbeat Sound’ alive. But might I add that such a sound is not a bad thing? From the sad-eyed “End of Spring” to the hopeful pop of “I Wish We Were Still Friends” and “Somersault,” Red is never less than lovely and charming. The only flaw with this, though, is that occasionally the album tends to get a bit of a one-sided sound that’s unavoidable. Still, I’m not suggesting that you write Red off; instead, you should simply approach it as it is meant to be approached–a great little album of indie-pop folk rock that never once lets its guard down. ~ Joseph Kyle

SPLENDID ONLINE {November 2003}
Jacksonville, FL songwriter Tracy Shedd’s favorite color is supposedly red, so she named her debut Blue, saving (perhaps wisely) the preferred shade for a later, more evolved effort. (Let’s just hope she doesn’t call her third album White.) Red is a slightly more amped-up rendering of the melancholy, folk-tinged indie rock that defined Blue. Songs like the groovy, comparatively uptempo “Conley” or the haunting violin-accented “Opposites Attract” show that Shedd’s backup band are more than mere accoutrements for the girl-and-her-guitar core, while the mellower tunes — like “Somersault”, which is all held-out notes and unobtrusive tom-tapping — let us know why she’s billed as a solo artist. The music is fairly minimal, but not anemic; violin and piano never come close to supplanting the lush and complex guitars, though they add quite a bit of interest. But Shedd’s vocals are indisputably the focus of Red’s songs. Her lyrics are unsentimentally poignant snapshots of relationships, ranging from a simple wish to have someone back in your life (“I wish we were still friends / And it would be so nice”) to wistful, oblique stories of lost and imperfect love. Shedd uses a lot of lyrical repetition (like singing “Oh, again and again” over and over in “Airplane”), and her delivery is sometimes so calm and unaffected as to belie the emotions conveyed through her words. She has a clear, low-pitched voice that changes little over the course of the album, making it sound a little samey after the tenth track or so. However, while the vocal and guitar melodies can’t exactly be called catchy, you’ll still find them running through your mind after you’ve given Red a few spins. This is a collection of beautiful and mature music; it might not be the most attention-grabbing record ever released, but it’s definitely good enough to be named after a favorite color. ~ Sarah Zachrich

Perfecting Tracy Shedd. Singer-songwriter and her self-named band are aiming for more than just local success. James Tritten stood outside Jack Rabbits, running his hands over his arms for warmth. It was one of those October nights where it wasn’t cold enough to wear a sweater, but it seemed all the right meteorological conditions had aligned for a smoky breath. “I bleed for Shedd,” Tritten said quickly, as if it were something he had inside all night and until now was able to express. “If you look at my fingers after a show — they’re torn up.” They were torn up then: scabs and scrapes even on the top part of his fingers, places you couldn’t imagine the metal strings of a guitar could damage. Tracy Shedd, the 29-year-old leader, vocalist and sole songwriter of the eponymous band, stood a few steps away from Tritten, 28, her guitarist and husband, quietly listening. “I trust her,” he said. Tritten’s voice has an almost prepubescent air to it. It goes high, then he shyly smiles when he says something funny or strangely romantic to Shedd. In the beginning, Tracy Shedd was just Tracy Shedd. But as she moved from Jacksonville to Boston and back and picked up a record deal, she started putting together the band, including drummer Cash Carter (who’s 25), bassist Richard Dudley (he’s 27) and Tritten on guitar. Now the whole band is known collectively as Tracy Shedd. They haven’t been touring much lately — other than a recent New York showcase performance for CMJ New Music Monthly Magazine — because they wanted to really concentrate on the music. Last year, they played SXSW in Austin, Texas, and this year they just released Red on Teenbeat Records. Shedd said the band is still struggling to find acceptance in its hometown. “People in Jacksonville just don’t support their local music.” The inevitable questions are: Why did they come back home (they returned about a year ago), and why don’t they leave? “Why are we still in Jacksonville?” asked Dudley. “Cause … It’s home,” said Tritten, in a whisper. “No, no… Let her answer the question,” said Dudley, calmly. Shedd, sitting at the head of the table, never answered the question. This is a matriarchal band and nobody seems to mind that. Cash said he thinks the band works because it is so much a dictatorship. “The last band I was in was very much a democracy, and it was all screwed up. I think that may be part of the reason why [this one] works.” Shedd writes the songs, and the band members add their respective parts. If Shedd doesn’t like something, she has the final say. “She doesn’t really tell us what to do,” Dudley said. “But this is her thing.” The band rehearses in a friend’s garage in Avondale. It’s a shabby place that smells of dried-up cardboard, lit only by a couple of strings of Christmas lights wrapped around the wooden columns. The band was practicing for tonight’s gig at Club 5. They’ll play alongside Poison the Well, considered a metal band — quite the contrast to Shedd, a singer-songwriter dabbling in noise rock. “I don’t think we should change who we are for the show,” said Shedd, as they went over the set list. They had just finished playing Blue , the title track from Shedd’s previous album. Shedd plays with grace, hardly breaking a sweat, and just barely tapping her feet to the beat. Her hair curls around her face, and she keeps her eyes on the neck of the guitar, perhaps to look at what she is fretting. Her voice is reminiscent of Liz Phair, without the fluctuations or cadences. It’s a voice that stays in a plateau and moves with the consistent roll of a mercury ball. It’s music that floats and sinks with layers of electric guitar chord-based finger picking, captivating rhythms and vocals that keep everything freakishly under control. It’s like a bottle of soda you shake violently, but when you open it, it makes hardly a spill. There are jams in the midst of all this calm, though, where the music swells and Carter shreds his drums and Dudley steps up his bass. It becomes a violent storm of noise, distorted guitars and dissonant chords. That night at Jack Rabbits, Tritten was trying to explain that contained sound. He doesn’t think it’s contained, and he was almost frustrated at having to explain what they are doing. If they went off into feedback world, they would be typical, he said as he leaned on a light pole. Shedd came closer and finally interrupted. She said, “For the first time, things feel just right.” ~ By EYDER PERALTA

Grease is not a nutrient. Many young adults are defying their fast-and-fried-fed image by turning to more healthful options. …Tracy Shedd, a 29-year-old singer-songwriter, reads Vegetarian Times, Organic Gardening and Organic Style. She says 90 percent of her friends are vegetarians, and she thinks fear of genetically modified food will eventually drive more people toward a healthful organic diet. Over the years, she’s tried eating a raw-food diet and a vegetarian diet. She’s careful about what she puts in her body today, even though her current diet no longer fits into either of those categories. “I’ve actually been incorporating some fish, like I eat some sushi in my diet, and it works for me,” she said. “Once in a blue moon, I might even eat a hamburger or something.” ~ Nick Marino

INK 19 {August 2002}
Tracy Shedd & One AM Radio Translusence The Split EP. A beautiful staple in our colorful history of rock and roll music. You get a chance to hear some songs by a band you like and maybe discover some new music by proximity. That is, until the advent of compact disc. How people justify releasing ten-minute CDs is completely beyond me. I can settle for 20 minutes, because by the time you reach 30, you can release it as a full-length, but ten?!?! That aside, Tracy Shedd and The One AM Radio have joined forced to bring you a towering release, nearly 12 minutes in length. Now, I have endless, boundless, ceaseless respect for songwriting. Especially good songwriting and especially when good songwriting and sad bastard music combine into a glorious speedball of melancholy nostalgia. And yes! Here it is. Tracy Shedd is a joy to listen to. Her songs have honestly sweet hooks. The lyrics on opener “Calm Sea” eventually reach such an unique point, where sentimentality just becomes washed out completely, where she just refers to cities and boats with this sense of beautiful plainness. “Red Pillow,” while not as lyrically strong, is just as musically powerful. With such genuinely strong songwriting, it’s painful to consider how short the release is. The One AM Radio, while not as delicately crafted, is more considerately orchestrated. Where Shedd’s band is essentially a traditional rock setup, One AM Radio implements drum machines and violins to get what is essentially the same sound with a different tonal palette. In tune with the first half of the EP, One AM Radio is basically a thematic reiteration of love lost that seems to pervade 95 percent of all songwriting. You can’t hold it against them. There’s nothing groundbreaking here. CD-EPs are outdated. These songs are certainly pleasurable. You get the picture. ~ Georgia Holly

Tracy Shedd & The One AM Radio — Split EP Review. I’m really quite astounded that Alone put out a record like this. Artists like Tracy Shedd and The One AM Radio are a huge departure from the hardcore and punk that this label found its legs on. I really think that this is a sign of the labels increasing maturity. Its almost a big FUCK YOU to their loyal X’ed up, baggy pants wearing clientele. Good on ya Andy. Both of the artists on this split disk are what some might call singer-songwriters that use minimal instrumental assistance to round out their sound. The focus is more on the lyrics and the stories being told. Tracy Shedd is particularly acceptional at conveying her tales of solo travels and (real emotional) inner strain. She delivers in a simple but elegant manner leaves the listener searching for more. Tracy’s music is perfect for a lonesome, destonationless drive through a lonely stretch Appalachian highway on a starry summer night. I believe Ms. Shedd has also released some work on Teen Beat. The Jenny Toomey crowd would really dig this. The One AM Radio on the other hand feature the male vocal and guitar stylings of Hrishikesh Hirway. I can’t really explain why The One Am Radio remind me of the Cat Stevens and Harry Chapin records my mother used to listen to, because its much dreamier than that stuff. Very mellow arrangements here. Both of his numbers are short but sweet and include a rendition of the 1950’s “parking” classic “You Belong to Me.” (Alone) –JD

IN CONCERT / Tracy Shedd’s ready to shed the touring life By John Staton, Star-News Correspondent Over the phone, Tracy Shedd sounds really happy. This is a pretty big relief, actually, because some of her songs sound so sad. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. She certainly isn’t apologizing for it. “I definitely love dark, moody music,” says the Teen Beat Records singer/songwriter playing tonight at Bessie’s with local duo Bellafea. It’s one of her first stops on a far-flung tour that will take her to the Northwest and California before winding back down South and home to Jacksonville, Fla. The well-traveled Ms. Shedd, who has been featured at such big festivals as CMJ in New York and South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, is no stranger to the Port City, having played the annual WeFest as well as house shows. Her album on Teen Beat is titled Blue, but it’s not depressing, just introspective. The songs don’t have many hooks, but they lilt and flow pleasantly enough, driven by Ms. Shedd’s pretty, Liz-Phair-ish vocals and undistorted electric guitar plucking. She comes off like a better-adjusted version of Cat Power’s Chan Marshall (to whom she’s often compared) or perhaps what early ’70s folker Nick Drake (whom Ms. Shedd’s a fan of) would’ve sounded like if he had been a woman. Ms. Shedd is backed up by her husband, James Tritten, on drums, and by longtime friend and collaborator Richard Dudley on bass. The daughter of a country and gospel music singer, she’s been writing songs on guitar ever since she learned to play at age 17. “Even as a kid when I took piano lessons, I would write my own little things, like an improv, and my teacher would yell at me and say, ‘No no, you don’t do this to Bach and Beethoven.'” The highlight of Blue, however, which came out last year, is its wistful, at times haunting, lyrics. The opening words to People are Changing sum up the album’s feel: “I’m going to start telling a story / About the life, the one that we lead / And reactions to things that move us / And people taking advantage of what was / So freely given.” On many songs, Ms. Shedd will repeat a line over and over so that the words, rather than the music, echo in your head like mantras: “O how they could stare”; “It could take a storm”; “In circles, in circles you go”; “You never came.” Ms. Shedd says touring over the past couple of years has helped her grow as an artist. “Right now, I feel like we’re really connecting with the crowd. A year ago I would have (said differently), but we’ve taken it up a notch. It’s definitely a little rock now. It’s not full-on rock, but it’s not as light as it used to be. Before, I could hear pinballs over my voice. But now, we’re turning it up.” Ms. Shedd, whose day job in Jacksonville involves working for a political research firm, says she plans to re-evaluate her music career, at least the touring aspect, when she returns home in August. “You never know what’s going to come up, but we’re not really planning anything. We’ll definitely do CMJ this year, but I don’t know if we’ll do another tour this year.” Another album with Teen Beat is in the works as well. “It doesn’t matter if we’re on MTV or VH1. I mean, I’m not going to say I wouldn’t love that, but the goal is really just to get by to where none of us have to work, and we have time to make music and just create. I think that’s every artist’s goal. I hope it would be.”

TRACY SHEDD, SUPER XX MAN, BLANKET MUSIC (Disjecta, 116 NE Russell) Okay–Mark Robinson, father of TeenBeat Records, is one of those guys who would take you to the library on a date, and it would come off as nothing less than totally endearing, earnest, and cool. He’s a frigging heart-melter. So it stands to reason that he would sign artists to his label with similar qualities, such as the wonderful Tracy Shedd, of Jacksonville, Florida. Ms. Shedd writes jingle-jangle pop songs that swim behind a love-colored cloud–TeenBeat compares her to the velvet dream-pop of the Sarah Records echelon, and they are not merely whistling Dixie. With a calm, distinctly Brit take on melancholy, smart vocals (but don’t worry, no fake accents or anything) and the propulsive, intuitive rumble of bass, guitar, and drums, Ms. Shedd has an enormous faint factor–you can nestle your heart in her pillowy music.

UOZ’AP {May 2002}
Tracy Shedd – Blue (Teenbeat records) min. 32:10 La musica di Tracy Shedd non è accattivante, non è alla moda e non fa particolari riferimenti a stili dei decenni passati.
Avete presente certe situazioni, certe domeniche pomeriggio in cui ci si sente come sospesi: né tristi, ma neanche allegri? Le canzoni di Tracy suonano come la voce di quell‚amico che stavate pensando e che passa a trovarvi proprio quella domenica. Basta poco per recuperare l‚intimità di un tempo: ci sono nuove storie da sentire e vecchie storie da ricordare, si affonda lentamente nel divano, e il tempo passa senza pesare, scorre come le parole, senza silenzi imbarazzanti. Un basso verticale e una batteria poco invadenti ma efficaci, la voce e la chitarra e il pianoforte suonati da Tracy: un suono avvolgente e delicato, . Fatevi trovare a casa. Massimiliano Zambetta

EXCLAIM.CA (July 2001}
The curiously affecting debut of Boston-based singer/songwriter Tracy Shedd is a gentle reminder that there’s no substitute for a good song. All the modern world gee-gaws and fashion plate accessories don’t amount to a hill of beans if they aren’t backed by a strong melody, a decent hook and bouncing groove. Blue is a collection of old-school indie pop tunes; it could rest comfortably between albums written by the Spinanes, Jale and Tsunami almost a decade ago. The departure point from those celebrated bands is the mature worldview that guides these observational lyrics. These songs are quiet marvels about relationships and other hang-ups, coloured by gently weeping guitars, keyboards and the occasional bass accompaniment. Whether or not the colourful title is a tip of the hat to troubadour Joni Mitchell’s finest hour, this Blue shares that classic album’s emotional weight and candour. ~ Christopher Waters

MAGIC! {June 2001}
Artist. A simple recording, melancholy and touching. Such is Blue , first solo album of a mysterious American composer named Tracy Shedd. Who comes to confirm – one breathes… – that there is never a refuge from love at first sight. Especially when it is musical… Article by Christophe Basterra One day, someone must think about erecting a monument to the Teenbeat label. Or, perhaps, devote a special number to it. To say that the works directed by the fantastic Mark Robinson are of public interest today is saying it mildly. Because this droll good guy possesses doubtlessly the best sound of the music business planted across the Atlantic. Since 1985, he has, so to speak, never failed, that is to say in the heart of his projects – Unrest, Air Miami, by himself -, in the choice of his new editions – Happy Family, The Feminine Complex… – and especially in his discoveries. The greatest [discovery] to date? A young lady named Tracy Shedd, that one imagines dreamy, a little, romantic, a lot, musical, passionately, music-lover, to distraction. “Oh, la la… There are so many artists who have had an enormous impact on me that I don’t even know where to begin. There are the Cocteau Twins, Smog, by the way from the The Sugargliders, Stereolab or Sonic Youth… But one of my favorite albums of all time, is Loveless by My Bloody Valentine.” An admission at least astonishing as indulging oneself in Blue, a delicious collection of nine songs stripped, with compositions pure and refined, with a cottonlike atmosphere, with engaging melodies, that one imagines well to have been recorded on a small 4-track, set up in a kitchen or a small room transformed for the occasion into a makeshift studio. “In fact, I composed most of the titles of Blue sometime previously. This album, I see it as a compilation of songs I made over the last four years. I work at night often, when I am by myself: it is at these moments that I am most inspired…” Red Tracy Shedd was born in Jacksonville, Florida, a town immortalized by the unforgettable duo Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood, where she has returned after having lived in the suburbs of Boston. Daughter of a country singer, she learned the subtleties of the piano at a young age and the joys of the … trumpet, having a passion for jazz and independent rock. Logically, she did not delay joining the local scene to find herself, in 1992, a scarcely sixteen years of age, at the bosom of the mysterious Sella. “In the beginning, everyone composes. And after two years, the formation had changed. I put a guitar in my hand and sequestered myself to compose!” After some confidential recordings, the group separated in 1996. But one must come to the end of the convictions of the young woman, who is captivating with the other musicians, violinist Colin Kiely and saxophonist Joseph Yorio under the name Aeriel. Even if she has always loved to confront her ideas with those of others, she has not begun less to think of her own freedom, aided in this by her husband James Tritten, well-disposed head of Audio Explorations. “Jimmy and I are truly on the same wavelength, especially when it is a matter of music. I could not dream of a better artist to play beside me. Sincerely, we have no problems traveling together… especially when the woman has top billing!” By herself, Tracy has made grand debuts on a split Christmas single Boston, Mass.: It’s Snowing, divided up – surprise, surprise – with Audio Explorations, made at home and recorded over the winter of 1999, on which she repaired the traditional It’s Snowing. But it’s her compositions which have made Mark Robinson succumb. That which surprises no one, when one knows the love that carries a man to British pop, a passion that endows the songstress, “I am flattered when someone tells me that my record sounds “English” because most of the artists I listen to come from Great Britain.” Tracy Shedd is not complicated, rather fortunate she can finally draw out such exquisite sensibilities from her miniature songs, however, when one asks her about the title of her album, she seems a little destabilized… “Hmm, in reality, my favorite color is red. Blue does not even come in second.” What is important, for Tracy Shedd, can she truly choose another color than the one of love to baptize a first album than one already cherishes?

Review of Tracy Shedd – Blue (Teenbeat) What it is: Solo debut from singer/songwriter/daughter of a country singer/classical pianist-turned-guitarist Shedd, once of the band Sella. What it sounds like: Shedd’s unconventional, slowly-wrought songs, aided by spare drumming, bass and piano, recall the work of Spent’s Annie Hayden, a lot. The skinny: File Blue under the burgeoning “urban folk” category with Damien Jurado, Hayden, Cat Power and Pedro The Lion. Quite good.

MAGIC! {May 2001}
Tracy Shedd Blue (Teenbeat/import) It has been some time since we have had any news about Teenbeat, the unlikely label directed by the very inspired Marc Robinson (for those who have rated the preceding episodes, I speaking of the former leader of Unrest and Air Miami who now works alone.) But this [news] scarcity ends today and in the most beautiful manner, that is to say, Blue is the first album of Tracy Shedd, a fragile (at least that is what one imagines) young woman from the suburbs of Boston. Fragile, as her nine small songs of exquisite tenderness and of a confusing naiveté. Sometimes one is reminded of Young Marble Giants – for her captivating crystalline voice – to the first steps of Everything But the Girl – for these arrangements are reduced to a bare minimum and show a rare relevance – to the very acoustic moments of Lush – for these melodies and harmonies grab your heart. Melancholy (often) and touching (always), the compositions of the cultured American woman evokes thoughts of sweet summer nights, where one’s head is inevitably lost in the stars and one tries to close the eyes to dream better. To dream that, each day, one can listen to recordings as touching. And as troubling. -Christophe Basterra

Christmas-Rock Countdown Week 4 (review of Holiday 7inch w/ Audio Explorations ) Boston, Massachusetts: It’s Snowing is a red-vinyl split-single of lo-fi Christmas crackers from Beantown. Tracy Shedd does a vulnerable take on “Silent Night” that will warm the indie-rock cockles of your heart (note: if cockles get too warm, rub them with dry ice). On the flip, Æ Audio Explorations (James Triffen and Steven Haley) put a little space-rock spin on their bedroom renditions of “White Christmas” and “The Little Drummer Boy.” The Xerox sleeve and recording quality are indie lo-fi all the way, but if you want the hook-up, you gotta go to And to all a good night…