Coming off the road after months of performing show after show, Shortly is infiltrating her way into our ears and hearts. The indie solo-act is the artistic endeavor of Detroit-native Alexandria Maniak and recently put out her first EP, Richmond. First breaking onto the scene with her haunting debut single “Matthew,” Shortly has positioned vulnerability and intimacy at the heart of her music.
From reflecting the consequences of her actions, like in “Finders Keepers,” or dissecting her emotions, like in “While We’re On The Subject,” Shortly displays a moving interpretation of the human existence through her music. Bringing her style on the road, Shortly and her band traveled across the country performing in new cities and getting to know fans far and wide. Follow along as Shortly gives a personal account of her tour adventures.
Photos: Kris Herrmann
Our show in Salt Lake City was cancelled because of hazardous weather conditions. We ended up stuck in Colorado for a couple of days longer than we planned (there are definitely worse places to be stuck- what a beautiful state). The Have Mercy crew joined with Oso Oso and us to have a one-off show at a bar mid-renovation to fill the gap. We announced it less than 24 hours before, and the show was packed. It’s one of my favorite memories. This is Austin practicing in the room next-door, which will become their new venue post renovation.
On the rare occasion we could afford a hotel (or couldn’t find anywhere to crash).
Truthfully, we hadn’t heard of Blanco White prior to booking a show with them. We were a bit confused when they asked us to strip down the set, but we understood as soon as we heard them soundcheck- the band is ethereal. Austin and I took to some monotone colors and found ourselves back into playing our shoegazey, light footed duo set that we played for so long. It was a welcome change of pace.
It’s always fun to see what the light techs will do when they hear our music. We’re opening, and we don’t expect them to know the dynamic of the set. In this case, it was disco. Very, very disco.
The Mohawk in Austin, Texas, is an outdoor venue. We found out when we showed up. We took BIRD scooters all around the city and spent some quality time in the warm (just a week later, I was huddled around my space heater again in Detroit). This is a precious photo to me- with Zayde Wagner, my day to day manager and boyfriend, and with Tavish of Oso, who became one of my closest friends. It was a pleasure to have them with me.
Kris snapped this photo of us scouting a location for a video cover of a Damien Rice song. We wanted somewhere with white noise, somewhere surreal. We found ourselves climbing the peak of a landscape at Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.
Just messing around on the guitar on top of a mountain… Nothing out of the ordinary, here.
Do you have any idea how hard it is to find the opportunity to shave when you’re driving 15+ hours? I now understand why some venues have showers.
Austin went away for grad school in Montreal, Quebec. This was his first day back in the city since graduating. I didn’t know that he knew so much French. I learned more about my bandmate in Montreal than I ever did in Detroit.
The man behind the camera. Not enough photos of this guy. This is Kris Herrmann sitting excitedly beside Jade/Oso Oso. I’m speaking for all of us when I say that he is a life saver. He’s full of so many beautiful ideas and he has the kindest heart out of all of us.
Our van broke down. Plain and simple. We’re driving through what, Utah? And at 3:30am, the van makes a horrifying noise. We come to a stop and wait at the side of the road for hours for a tow truck to make it to us, and then to a (very not vegan) diner to wait for the only mechanic within 100 miles in either direction to open. We fell asleep peacefully in these chairs, sitting up straight. I’m sure we looked ridiculous to the early birds at the auto shop.
A moment to rest.
We’re starting to abide by this rule: No backpacks on the greenroom chairs. There aren’t enough of them in the first place.
I don’t remember this. Probably because I was sleeping. I looked like this most often, I’m sure. We had a lot of long drives and a lot of traveling troubles and a lot of very, very energetic shows.
We found a checkerboard. We didn’t have any pieces, so we played chess with coins (heads versus tails, different stacks of change being the queen, the king, your rook, my rook). You gotta do what you gotta do when you have 3 off days in the middle of nowhere.
Something I’ve admired about my bandmates from day one is their impeccable ability to stop in all of the right places. “Hey, the locals say there’s a beautiful reservoir 20 minutes that way. Let’s go.” In this case, we stopped on the side of the road to look at some windmills and gawk at how far from home we were.
Patience is a virtue. We change up the set a little bit every time we play it because the way that we play is entirely dependent on responding to one another and complimenting each other’s dynamics for the night.