Back in November 2014, Brooklyn foursome Shady Hawkins announced that they would be playing their final show. At the time, the band vaguely hinted at one last release, and the day has finally come. Last week, the band quietly released their final five-track EP The Last Dance almost three years after their last record, 2012’s Dead To Me.
The record opens with “Debutante”, a personal anecdote about singer Suzy X’s experience with feeling used and tokenized before eventually leaving the relationship. “Take me out, show me off but / You are not my leader / You are a deceiver,” she declares, tearing unapologetically into those who pretend to “pay full price for all [their] fucking privileges.” “XOXO” continues on this furious, berating vein before abruptly ending on the line, “I told you, you fucked up, / And all you did / Was turn your head!” The EP’s next few tracks move into sounds that are slightly less heavy, although the subject matter certainly is not. “State of Emergency” is a steadily spiraling track about the singer’s thoughts about police authority and morality. “State of emergency / Where is your empathy? / You make me wonder who’s the bad guy / Your hatred eats you from the inside,” Suzy sings. “Do I Dare?” is Shady Hawkins’ most ballad-y track to date, a slow punk croon about the end of a relationship. As the song’s title becomes a chorus to to be drawn out and belted, the listener is reminded that Shady Hawkins’ strength was in their vulnerability. The powerful “Veneer” wraps the EP up completely, and, thus, in the larger picture, Shady Hawkins’ output. As I said back in November, it’s hard to say goodbye to a band you love. But The Last Dance is one mighty swan song.
You can stream The Last Dance below: