playlist: see/saw’s favorite shannon & the clams songs

The band’s latest album features one of their best songs ever. Here’s a playlist with 20 favorites—the Shannon canon.

playlist: see/saw’s favorite shannon & the clams songs
Shannon & the Clams, photo by Jim Herrington

Shannon & the Clams’ new album The Moon Is in the Wrong Place, which came out earlier this month, features some of their best work. That’s saying something for 15 years of making records, but it’s honestly true. “The Vow” is the best Clams song yet, one Shaw wrote for the late Joe Haener with the intention of surprising him with it on the planned wedding day he didn’t live to see.

Even removed from its heartbreaking context (which is impossible so I’m not sure that last phrase bears writing at all), it’s an outpouring of love that feels instantly classic. Their songs always have a vintage feel, and this is no different. Still, for the first time, the band fully eclipse many of their aesthetic ’60s forebears with a perfect song. It’s not the only great song on the record: Hearing Shaw’s active mourning on “Oh So Close, Yet So Far” is heart-wrenching. This is beautiful, powerful music. 

These songs made me want to hear all of my favorite Shannon songs, including the first Shannon & the Clams records and her deeply underrated 2018 solo album Shannon in Nashville. She and Cody Blanchard both have such incredible voices and chemistry together. (Also, shout out Cody’s King Lollipop record from the early ’10s—still one of the most fun live shows I’ve ever seen.) The Clams have amassed an unbelievable songbook since their 2009 debut. My 20 favorites are all compiled here (embedded below in a browser), beginning with “The Vow”—their new high watermark and one of the best songs of 2024 in a walk.

Shannon & the Clams: The Vow [2024]
Shannon & the Clams: Done With You [2011]
Shannon & the Clams: The Warlock in the Woods [2009]
Shannon Shaw: Love I Can’t Explain [2018]
Shannon & the Clams: Year of the Spider [2021]
Shannon & the Clams: Rat House [2013]
Shannon & the Clams: Do I Wanna Stay [2021]
Shannon & the Clams: Oh So Close, Yet So Far [2024]
Shannon & the Clams: Candy, Forget About Me [2013]
Shannon & the Clams: How Long [2015]
Shannon & the Clams: Onion [2018]
Shannon & the Clams: Bean Fields [2024]
Shannon & the Clams: Ozma [2013]
King Lollipop: Cheeseburger & Fries [2011]
Shannon & the Clams: Telling Myself [2015]
Shannon & the Clams: Love Strike [2018]
Shannon Shaw: Leather, Metal, Steel [2018]
Shannon & the Clams: Mama [2014]
Shannon & the Clams: Knock ’em Dead [2015]
Shannon & the Clams: Half Rat [2011]

Shannon & the Clams’ album artwork for The Moon Is in the Wrong Place