Here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today, we’ve been listening to the debut single from Shannon Darcy. Snakes and Ladders was released on January 13, 2023.

Speaking of Snakes and Ladders, Darcy says, “I wrote this song when I was feeling fed up with the way some people lie and cheat their way through life without a thought for anyone else. I felt frustrated by those whose toxic and manipulative energy strangulates its way into the lives of others.”

Darcy is no stranger to performing, having been entering (and winning) talent contests throughout her teens. Snakes and Ladders is her punky/rock debut into the world of original music.

The song starts with some electric guitar strums, and when Darcy’s voice joins the mix, it is heavily reverbed with some cool stereo delay effects in the sibilance frequencies. Programmed drums join the mix and the effects disappear until they re-emerge at the end of the song to wrap things up nicely.

Darcy’s vocals are strong and sit dominantly in the mix during the verses. She has some superb techniques in her “vocal toolbox” and her switch into head voice flip is just perfect. You can clearly hear her English accent and the attitude and angst she conveys are evident.

The choruses are punkier and add in some shouted background vocals. There’s a great change-up between the verses and chorus and the way the song is sectioned out gives the listener plenty to pay attention to.

Darcy makes great use of occasional harmony vocals throughout the song, placing them only where necessary for extra impact.

We loved the stabbed section of guitars and drums, building to a repeated chorus to end, with that gorgeous stereo delay returning on the vocals, accompanied just by guitar.

Ideas from our ears.

This is a great-sounding mix. To our ears, some extra low-end compression would enhance the thump of the kick drum, giving the track a little more punch. Some top-end compression would increase the overall brightness too. As always, these are just some ideas from our ears.

Final thoughts

Shannon Darcy’s, Snakes and Ladders, is a well-composed and well-considered debut single which will undoubtedly put Darcy’s name on the punk/rock genre map and win her plenty of new fans. Great job!