Jo Schornikow of The Shivers on NYC & Melb

Melbourne ex-pat Jo Schornikow bases herself in Queens, NYC where she now participates in a fertile music community with her band The Shivers with Keith Zarriello. The band have just signed to NYC label Silence Breaks and will release their 5th record “More” to add to a neat discography of compelling music. The uncanny and acutely fragile voice of Zarriello paired with the smooth sensibility possessed by Schornikow, make for an enchanting experience, enhanced only by the audacious composing and lyrical content. After 4 records in 6 years and plenty of touring to boot, Schornikow took the band to Manchester to capture their latest installment the old way: ANALOGUE. The pair took the record to LA where it was mixed by famed Indie producer Adam Lasus (Yo La Tengo, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Helium). The result is a damn good record. Zarriello possesses one of those rare vocal timbres that rings on long after you lift the needle and with co-writing partner Schornikow, they set the ship to sail on the new release with their first single “Used To Be” which they are giving away for free download. I caught up with Jo in NYC a few weeks ago and chatted about… well… Melbourne… and NYC.

Schornikow studied improvisation on piano at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) in the first half of last decade and moved to NYC in 2005 not long after finishing, pursuing what she described as an “anti career move”. As a trained musician, the pianist decided that corporate covers weren’t doing it for her (strange) and decided to follow her musical nose to NYC where she made music with Zariello. She says of her move, “I felt like I had second child syndrome. So I thought, why not pack it all in for something which has the safety and exhilaration of (what I imagine to equate with) sky diving, and if not now, when?.” In the early days of the band, they visited Melbourne and performed at a Blank Tape sanctioned show way back when the label wasn’t a label. This is where Schornikow handed me a copy of  their second record ‘Phone Calls’ and it was at this point I realised the extent of the craftwork at hand.

The band have a northern summer tour schedule, including dates in the US and Europe. When asked about the possibility of a trip to OZ Schornikow replied with “whenever my grandmother gets so annoyed with me living so far away she funds a band relocation”. Checkout out tour dates here: Shivers/Silence Breaks where you can also download “Used To Be” for free. The band are working on a local release towards the end of the year.