Sweet as pie.

Donuts and Dogs With Shelby Earl

The singer proves it's never too late to find one's voice.

Folk-tinged singer/songwriter Shelby Earl is creating a whirlwind inside Top Pot’s Capitol Hill locale, but so far all she’s done is order a chocolate-coconut donut and an Americano. KEXP’s Kurt Reighley drops by to give her a personally inscribed copy of his new book on Americana. The Long Winters’ Eric Corson, who has contributed to Earl’s upcoming disc, happens to wander in and greets her joyfully. Patrons turn from their laptops, curious why the woman with chestnut bangs and dangling rhinestone earrings is generating so much attention. Perhaps it’s time Earl gets used to being noticed.

“I wrote my first song at 29 or 30,” says the 34-year-old Earl when quiet resumes. “It took me awhile to know what I wanted to say. But now I sound like me.”

A lucky REVERB audience will discover more about who that is. So far, the rich splendor of Earl’s vocals, acoustic guitar, and elegiac lyrics (“But ask me to stay/And I’ll fall away/’Cause I am made of sand”) has engendered swooning from both listeners and peers.

“She’s a smoldering talent,” says The Long Winters’ John Roderick, who is producing Earl’s solo debut. (She was previously half of the duo The Hope, which garnered acclaim with their release In the Deep.) And during the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, Earl surpassed her $5,000 goal on Kickstarter—a site that allows artists to collect donations for projects—by a whopping $1,065. All of which is a nice reward for ditching her Amazon job to fully commit to the record. (No, she’s not mooching while you toil: She now works at Serafina—she’s a hostess—which allows more flexibility.)

With tracking underway and mixing and mastering slated for late fall, Earl hopes to have the record out in early 2011. Which would be ideal, as she has February and March shows booked in England, Ireland, and France. The downside? Yet again, Earl’s music will postpone her long-planned puppy adoption.

“I totally perv out on Petfinder.com!” she says and laughs. “My brother has the sweetest Pekingese, and if I’m ever home, I want to get one, too.” She scoops her phone from her bag and shares a photo of the rescue dog she recently almost acquired. “I would have named him ‘Mr. Bingley,’ from Pride and Prejudice, who’s so good-natured,” she says wistfully.

Her eventual pup will be a fortunate creature indeed.

music@seattleweekly.com

More in Music

Minus the Bear is Ready to Hibernate

After 17 years of influential innovation, the Seattle rock band prepares to say goodbye.

Brandi Carlile Notches Six Grammy Nominations

Fellow Seattleites Alice in Chains, the late Chris Cornell, and the Seattle Symphony also are up for awards.

The boys are back in town: Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker, and Lucy Dacus combine forces to form Boygenius. Photo by Lera Pentelute
The Girl Power of Boygenius

Julien Baker discusses her new indie songwriter supergroup with Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus.

Cat Power (aka Chan Marshall). Photo by Julien Bourgeois
Cat Power Powers Through

The acclaimed singer-songwriter chats about her stripped-down new album ‘Wanderer,’ motherhood, and when performance gets in the way of the song.

Sloucher displaying surprisingly decent posture. Photo by Eleanor Petry
Sloucher Is Not Posturing

The Seattle band doesn’t shy away from embracing ’90s guitar rock on ‘Be True.’

Blues Traveler Still Giving the Run-Around

Now-local John Popper marks the 25th anniversary of his band’s big break.

Greta Klein (center right) brings the soft indie pop Frankie Cosmos to The Neptune. Photo by Angel Ceballos
The Soft Comfort of Frankie Cosmos

Sub Pop’s tenderest band brings its indie pop to The Neptune.

Pedro the Lion. Photo by Ryan Russell
Pedro the Lion Returns with “Yellow Bike”

After nearly 15 years without new music, the Seattle band releases a song and video from the upcoming album, ‘Phoenix.’

Mitski auditioning for a role in a new <em>Poltergeist </em>film. Photo by Bao Ngo
Seattle Halloween Concert Guide

With a handful of stellar options, how should one celebrate Rocktober?

Wild Powwers Gets Under Your ‘Skin’

With its new album, the trio proves that it’s the only modern Seattle grunge band that matters.

Merrill Garbus of Tune-Yards (left) brings her self-aware dance tunes to The Neptune. Photo by Eliot Lee Hazel
A Reflection on Musical Whiteness with Tune-Yards

Worldbeat art pop mainstay Merrill Garbus chats about the need creative culture to go beyond simple racial awareness in the current climate.

Death Cab for Cutie Headlines Deck the Hall Ball 2018

The annual 107.7 The End holiday bash moves to WaMu Theater.