A spooky take on pop music

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Dani shivers Record Release Party for her debut album Jinx in Tijuana. Issa Lozano, City Times

Issa Lozano

In a store you’d probably find You Schaffner not browsing the shelves of the latest R&B; hits or dubstep infused singles that line the cd sections, but in the Halloween aisle sifting through a crate of bat socks, black bows or gawking at fake grave stones and a stuffed black cat.

She’s gained quite a following not only in her native town of Tijuana but in San Diego as well and enjoyed growing support from fans and music blogs alike.

Her project Dani Shivers though is not just a bunch of “Hocus Pocus” and she’s anything but the conventional girl pop that’s been streaming through radio waves for the past few decades.

There’s a new spooky twist to this gal’s sound and it’s as simple as pairing her style to a few beats and synths that she picks up from swap meets, among the treasure troves of old instruments that have been long left unused.

There’s something sweet and sinister about You’s haunting vocals. They reflect innocence, completely lost in a world of chaos filled with ghosts, witches and vampires.

Her debut album “JINX” was recently released on the cassette record label Prima Crush. That record —- almost 2 years in the making —- is a collection of sweet and incredibly danceable beats from the now long forgotten distinct sounds of old Casio keyboards.

Her song “Graves” shows off a twinge of sadness and nostalgia, which most of the tracks also inhibit while still keeping with a catchy beat. She knows exactly how to craft a perfect melodious pop song that not only keeps you singing along but transports you into worlds beyond our realm where all your fantasies and nightmares coexist in your dreams.

In a small out of the way bar in Tijuana’s central downtown area “JINX” posters line walls of the front doors and pillars of the space. It’s a Dani Shivers record release party and You is onstage.

She’s dressed in a black ensemble and the stage is lined full of cobwebs, with two identical skulls on each side of the speakers and rows of candles dimly lit at the bottom of the stage.

After the show I had the chance to ask You a few questions on Dani Shivers, her album release and her favorite horror films.

“When did you start making music?”

“I started writing poetry when I was 13 and at 14. I started playing my mom’s instruments when she practiced with her band. When I turned 16 I started playing bass in a band called Ibi Ego and started writing full songs.”

“Who helped you produce your new album ‘JINX?’”

“JINX was produced by Artax and The Swamp, also known as Gabriel Duprat, who’s running a cassette label in Tijuana. He’s also my bandmate in Ibi Ego and one of my mentors.”

“What is ‘JINX’ about?”

“Jinx tells the story of a girl who loses her cat and when she starts looking for him she discovers that a witch stole him to eat him. She fights the witch servants and when she finally defeats the witch, she casts a spell on her, a curse that forces the girl to stay in the world of the living as a ghost for eternity, she keeps her cat as her only friend now.”

“What would you like your fans to take from your music?”

“That punk feeling that makes you do what you want with what you have and have fun with it.”

“Favorite classic horror film?”

This is a hard question, I have a lot of horror favorites! I’m gonna have to say ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ by Polanski.”

“You’re most inspired by?”

“The beauty in sadness.”

You can now download and stream Dani Shiver’s Album “JINX” on Soundcloud or buy a special edition green cassette tape from Prima Crush.

Visit soundcloud.com/danishivers or www.primacrush.com/artist/dani-shivers for more information.