About the band
On their full length debut, Lighthouse, New York’s Shayna & The Catch delve deep into a stylistic melting pot of gypsy jazz, bluegrass, indie pop, folk and cabaret—as exotic diverse as the backgrounds of the band members. Together, the band has zeroed in on the common roots and historical connections between all these genres and woven them back together into a powerful and distinctive whole that is uniquely their own. Shayna Zaid’s powerful, smoky tone and playful, jazzy swagger invests an ambitious and refreshing, acoustic soundscape with sensual charm. In November 2010, they entered HeadGear studios in Brooklyn under the guidance of veteran producer John Agnello (Rosanne Cash, Drive By Truckers, Sonic Youth and The Hold Steady, et cetera) and created Lighthouse over the course of an intense and emotional two weeks—a masterful statement of their artistic vision and musical prowess.
The album was written throughout the course of two years and provides a glimpse into a period of upheaval, heartbreak and rediscovery for Zaid. What had started out as a hobby, grew into a form of therapy and eventually became a way of healing and celebrating as she dealt with the break-up of her relationship with her college sweetheart and musical collaborator. “I believe the more challenges we face in life, the more we expose ourselves to our weaknesses,” Shayna explains, “and in our times of weakness, we are forced to find the strength to get back up and move on, and in finding that strength, that light, we learn how to love ourselves as well as each other, and develop a deeper sense of appreciation for the good things in life.”
The seeds for Shayna & The Catch were planted in 2008 when Shayna, who’d grown up in Malaysia, jammed with New York-bred drummer Christopher Heinz and the two bonded over fresh socks, avocados and Fleetwood Mac. Shayna was then was introduced to Cuban refugee Yan Izquierdo, a classically trained violin/mandolin player she’d met through fellow Berklee alumnus guitarist, Austinite Andrew Baird. When Baird relocated to New York, and Heinz invited New York-native Fred Gerantabee to play bass at a SxSW showcase, the line-up was complete.
Since their initial formation, Shayna & The Catch have made live performance a major priority working the national college circuit, important festivals throughout North America and constant performing in their hometown including VH1's “Save the Music” fundraiser alongside One Republic at NYC's premier Esquire Penthouse in SoHo. This was followed by a musical appearance in Times Square-New York for the official 2010 New Year's Eve celebrations. They’ve shared stages with Norah Jones's 'Puss & Boots', Emily King, G-Love, She & Him, Jakob Dylan and Neko Case. Their song “Morning Sun” (featured on Lighthouse) gained massive TV and radio exposure through a Ford Edge advertising campaign.
Yan sums up the unique chemistry that underlies everything the ensemble does and hopes to do: “This band is driven by love, not just our love for music, but our love for each other, and by our combined life experiences, cultural and musical backgrounds. All of this comes through in our songs and guides us in the creative process, resulting in the eclectic sound and concept of the band's music.”