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Victoria alt rock band ready to riot in Vernon

Shale will play Riot on the Roof Aug. 26, featuring new single capturing fragile state of anxiety
Victoria-based alt rock band Shale will perform in Vernon during the Riot on the Roof Festival Aug. 26, 2023. (Submitted photo)

A group of alternative rockers will be rioting on the roof in Vernon next month.

Victoria-based group Shale have announced a B.C. tour that includes a stop in Vernon on Aug. 26, during the Riot on the Roof Festival. It’s the band’s only stop in the Okanagan.

While announcing their tour dates, the band also dropped a new single called Shake, which captures the fragile state of anxiety.

The song opens with strong riffs from guitarist Adam Baines before vocalist Kiarra O’Connor comes in with haunting vocals that are reminiscent of ’90s female vocalists such as Tori Amos and Alanis Morrisette.

The first verse demonstrates how sensitive people with anxiety feel, physically and emotionally. The vulnerability of the verse is heightened by the chorus, which implies that they don’t want to admit that they are hurting. They feel stuck, because they want to give up the facade of being OK but they also don’t want to hurt more.

However, the next two verses seem to show an internal battle of being torn between staying stuck, giving up, and hoping for something better. The contrast is demonstrated by O’ Connor’s soft, bleak sounding vocals in the second verse that grow braver by the third verse. These verses are given an even greater emotional impact with a brief guitar solo that follows.

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. The song digs deep into the emotional tapestry of overwhelm versus commitment, giving up versus pushing through,” she says.

The track was mixed by Darrell Thorp and mastered by Brian Lucey. Thorp is well known for his work on the Foo Fighters’ recent album, while Lucey is known for his work with The Black Keys and Cage The Elephant.

Shale formed in 2019 when drummer Michael Voytash and keyboardist Rowan Hensley were theatre technicians at Edward Milne Community School for a production of Grease and saw O’Connor’s leading 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. They soon followed that with three more singles, one of which was called Get Lost, which was accompanied by a black and red music video that heightens the somber and bittersweet mood of the song.

Only one year after the release of Wither, the band has made a global impression, streaming to fans in more than 60 countries and racking up more than 40,000 streams. The cathartic moodiness of Wither has now carried over to Shake, which signals the band’s newfound hope.

To learn more about the band or to purchase show tickets, visit

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Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started at the Morning Star as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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