credit: Jeff Fasano
India Ramey’s Shallow Graves kicks off with a shudder of woozy, western guitar, sounding as much like the soundtrack to some long-lost cowboy epic as the follow-up to Ramey’s critically- acclaimed national debut, Snake Handler. Progressive, gritty, and darkly cinematic, this is a rec- ord inspired by the turbulent present, stockpiled with songs that take aim at the liars, leaders, and hypocrites among us. Ramey calls it her “post-apocalyptic western,” and she fills the al- bum’s track list with plenty of fury and alt-country firepower to match.
Produced once again by Mark Petaccia, Shallow Graves builds upon the momentum kickstarted by 2017’s Snake Handler. A former attorney whose courtroom cases focused on domestic abuse, Ramey exorcised her own demons with Snake Handler, whose songs told real-life tales of her alcoholic father, her crooked family tree, and a childhood spent amongst the ghosts and Pentecostal churches of the Deep South. With Shallow Graves, she turns her gaze outward, too, writing personal songs inspired by her interactions with the modern world. “Hole in the World” finds her mourning the loss of Tragically Hip frontman Gordon Downie, while “Debutante Ball” skewe
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