20 year-old singer/songwriter Shane Cooley spent his fall semester at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, traveling back and forth to Charlottesville, Virginia to spend grueling hours recording his eleventh and strongest album yet, titled Whirlpool. Cooley describes his long days and countless hours in the studio and on the road as a pleasurable exhaustion.
He will debut songs from Whirlpool, his second studio album in two years, during the half time shows at two William and Mary basketball games.
The musicians joining Cooley in the studio are evidence enough of the musical strength of this album. The album was produced by bassist Stewart Myers (Lifehouse, Jason Mraz, Mandy Moore), who produced Cooley's 2005 release, Flying Naked.
Also joining the lineup are Tim Bradshaw on keys (John Mayer, David Gray), drummer Brian Jones (Jason Mraz), guitarist Sam Wilson of Sons of Bill, and the legendary Steve Bassett on B-3 organ.
Cooley was the first to record in Myers' new studio. Whirlpool, though musically up-beat, is a story of heartbreak, confusion, nostalgia and Cooley's endless fight to be heard in the music world. Cooley has been acclaimed by some and noted as notorious by others for his steadfast refusal to perform cover songs at his shows.
His determination is unstoppable and pays off. After writing over 40 songs since Flying Naked, Cooley was able to narrow it down to 11 songs that fit together as a coherent story.
In "My Asbury Park," a Springsteen-inspired tune, Cooley reflects upon his earlier days of playing in his hometown bar, groaning, "The boys would yell 'Skynrd,' I'd pack my bags and go home." "Deep Sea Dive," the second track, is a chorus-heavy ballad and a reassuringly hopeful prelude to the hardship to follow. "Whirlpool," the title track, is a heartbreak tune where Cooley laments, "I watch the waves as they attack/ the shore that never did them wrong but ain't never fighting back." Cooley continues the story with the danceable "Speed of Life," the ghostly "Riptide" and sassy "Indie Rocker." The album concludes with the 12th track, a one-minute reprise of "Deep Sea Dive" for a hopeful ending.
After its New Years release, Cooley intends to push Whirlpool to record labels in hopes of going to the next level. On January 31 and February 20, Cooley is scheduled to perform the national anthem and play the half-time shows at William and Mary basketball games. It will be a high-energy, rock n roll show of four or five of Cooley's best cuts from Whirlpool.
For more on Shane Cooley, go to www.shanecooleymusic.com , or www.myspace.com/shanecooley .
Whirlpool is available at his websites, as well as on iTunes, Amazon, and CD Baby.