“It’s the closest I’ve come yet to making the tune in my head.” Hear Shaky Snakes’ “Singing Underwater”

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“It’s the closest I’ve come yet to making the tune in my head.”

That was the first sentence Ian Allan Johnston wrote in an email that contained a link to this song, “Singing Underwater.” Johnston, a Vancouver artist who records as Shaky Snakes, has a tone like Phosphorescent’s Matthew Houck and a quiver like Conor Oberst. Behind this voice is a beat that sounds like it was built from basic Casio keyboard sounds—it’s not exactly the backdrop you’d expect to accompany a voice like Johnston’s, and that’s part of the beauty of “Singing Underwater.”

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