It was in 1999 when Ambrosia Parsley and her band Shivaree first appeared with the oddly titled I Oughtta Give You A Shot In The Head For Making Me Live In This Dump. The album was highly praised amongst music critics and select radio stations, much in part due to its standout track, ‘Goodnight Moon,’ but spawned only a modest following. Its luke-warm commercial reception incited Capitol Records to refuse an American release of their follow-up, the equally superb, Rough Dreams in 2002.
But when ‘Goodnight Moon’ found itself on Quentin Tarantino’s film, Kill Bill: Volume 2, Shivaree found itself a much wider audience. The exposure resuscitated what could have otherwise been another band lost in music oblivion. It also allowed Parsley and company an opportunity to end its ties to Capitol and negotiate a new deal with Zoe Records.
Shivaree’s first release with Zoe was the Breach EP; a tidbit for what was to come on Who’s Got Trouble?. Here you can find ‘657 Bed B,’ a beautifully delivered duet performed with Ed Harcourt, as well as four more tracks, two of which found their way onto the full-length album.
Who’s Got Trouble?, the band’s first album with the Zoe label, continues their unique brand of avant-garde dark country, which at times resonates with the feel of a dimly lit lounge or a slinky cabaret, but is consistently marked with Parsley’s playful, witty coo and girlish delivery. At times, Parsley’s vocals easily draw similarities to No Doubt’s front woman, Gwen Stefani.
The songs found on Who’s Got Trouble? are polished with the same wry songwriting style and clever lyrics listeners have come to expect from the band. The jaunty ‘I Close My Eyes,’ is instantly catchy and follows a similar formula that backed the success of the groovy ‘Goodnight Moon,’ where as ‘Little Black Mess’ instantly invokes a potential piece forgotten in a classic James Bond film with its melodramatic violin backdrop. Also here is a particularly notable, organ-heavy cover of Brian Eno’s ‘The Fat Lady of Limbourg.’