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Alt-rockers Shale to take the stage at Port Alberni’s Rainbow Room

New single captures the rawness of anxiety

Victoria, B.C.-based alt-rockers Shale will be rocking the Rainbow Room in Port Alberni this month.

Shale formed in 2019 when drummer Michael Voytash and keyboardist Rowan Hensley served as theatre technicians at Edward Milne Community School for a production of Grease and saw vocalist Kiarra O’Connor’s leading lady performance of Sandy.

After recording their first EP Wither, they released their first single “To The Ground” in 2022. It would be streamed more than 4,000 times in five days. Only one year after the release of their debut EP, they have made a global impression, streaming to fans in more than 60 countries and racking up over 40,000 streams.

Now, the cathartic moodiness from Wither has carried over to their most recent single “Shake,” which signals the band’s newfound hope. The song opens with strong riffs from guitarist Adam Baines before O’Connor comes in with haunting vocals that are reminiscent of ’90s female vocalists such as Tori Amos and Alanis Morrisette.

The band confirms the song is about anxiety, specifically O’ Connor’s experiences.

“The song tackles emotional overload and anxiety from my first year at university,” she explained. “The song digs deep into the emotional tapestry of overwhelm vs. commitment, giving up vs. pushing through.”

Shale will take the stage at the Rainbow Room on Thursday, Aug. 31, where they will be joined by indie rock group Cold Fame. Doors open at 8 p.m. and the show starts at 9 p.m. Tickets are available at the door.