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Machine Simple

by Sham

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $10 USD  or more


  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Machine Simple in the durable 12" vinyl format. Jacket and labels laid out by Greg Hatem

    Includes unlimited streaming of Machine Simple via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 3 days

      $20 USD or more 


  • Cassette + Digital Album

    Machine Simple on the handy cassette format. J-card layout by Greg Hatem.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Machine Simple via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 3 days

      $10 USD or more 


day yawns under fat cloud the monuments downtown historically cemented day yawns under fat cloud i tilt my head and change positions as light transitions there goes that house you used to live in there goes that park that we would sit in it goes it goes it goes day yawns over flat ground in air of picnics and loud music day yawns over flat ground all my friends return to their countries of origin clouds reorient it goes it goes it goes i have become a library of my own experience
people of the world flock to see what it has made as the heat rises ice covered mountain gushing out its melt, inside out and downward as the heat rises trees are stillness next to flowing water in the morning she walks away from the spot to reconvene with stillness and her own deep glowing as the heat rises i am a fountain of endless movement i am a tree that won't stop swaying my body softened by thick air sinks into earth as the heat rises eaten by rocks and roots and dirt i hear a whisper that movement is everything and in movement i'm filled with stillness and all the people that i carry dark silhouetted grassblade against green post sunset sky there is a romance in total darkness and heat descending i am a fountain of endless movement i am a portrait of everyone I've ever loved
naturally darkened wood and quartz wall the green that I adore I lay in the canopy of your voice horizontal comfort and nonsense in honesty and smooth beauty i extend like everything naturally, naturally i’ll bend the way you want me finding a place to sit comfortably among your branches i’ve found a place to sit among naturally, naturally i extend like everything naturally
beside dark prong your anatomy protrudes out soft fabric among hominy and woodland thrush croons asking if i like chicago or the warmth of the winter i sat in the thick of the shade reshaping that piece i had been sculpting do you see the natural beauty? motionless in the garden and the grass keeps on growing do you see the beauty? air spills over into next season figs ripen, we dress in a new fashion i sat at the edge of the lake trying to find my reflection decorated by the shape of time passing and you among blackness and thin august edges choosing when to face the right direction or speak in tone familiar i see the beauty staring at you and your form keeps on shifting do you see the beauty everything continues changing bug swarms under streetlight in the thick of the night or on morning's blue my biological friend and life surrounding i lay in my slightly aged container and comfort i've created decorated by the shape of time passing i am decorated by the shape of time passing i am decorated by the shape of time passing
my revolving door passed through by myself and many others my revolving door engulfed in their formatted singing and dead human voices still singing in original format wooden room hot with heat mouths repeat the things that they’ve heard loud amplifier amplifying feedback loud amplifier amplifying something my revolving door passed through by you in 21st century heat and sun pounding in some warm European afternoon outing the renaissance is aimless conversation you sit and I’m asking polite questions as the fruit dries out in daylight and by walks the translucent European baby screams on blue plastic swing loud amplifier amplifying feedback loud amplifier amplifying something my revolving door equidistance to myself and many others the wooden room’s hot with heat mouths repeat the things that they’ve heard my revolving door passed through by my self and many others
self portrait in white the night comes so quickly the disinterested light dull and muted self portrait in white melted fluid runs down the street that we live on your voice is sugar and two eyes that lead somewhere pulsating colored universal i’m out of sight field soaked in white the edge of true warmth the mouth of a clearing i am obscured there is no me the space between everything’s all that i see overlook in all white the morning’s birthed from night the golden blinding emergence glowing morning glory glowing morning day curls into itself self portrait in white bundled in draped clothing forming shape and composition i am translucent there is no me the space between everything’s all that i see
evaporated river beds and hot stones of hot climates with my hands in my pockets the sun beats down on us or at night air full us surrounded by the massive winds rumble above the black of trees reflections dirt coated on our skin you a conscious cellular sack painting a young woman while out loud i mention something of feeling separate ambivalence is part of the human condition you are a home for me to rest in you are a home for me to rest in orange buzzing streetlight framing dark flat expanse surfaces true desire of comfort and holding and the origin of its being let's find a place to sit and feel at home for a minute or two as bells play from the sky in a breeze that relieves and you stick your head through the hole of the chestnut tree your body, your container is the home that you rest in as directions shift east in illuminated absence of something a physical manifestation of old songs feelings of warmth of fire on raw surface and fertile ground to stand in home as a physical location its form forever knowingly inherently changing my desire of distance constantly oscillating that desire is the home that i rest in my desire is the home that i rest in
desire for lush dark shadow strange stagnant pool of air trusting air crusted layer near deep saline common liquid and off lightbulb shadow of weathered panels and public daylight you green eyed lie blue prevailing in rubber wheeled static stinging sand gushes i hide my pupil behind tinted plastic your black eye lash made of earth pupil circled in yellow when you returned bearing light and poetry we found ways to relate in motion and shape with your head of the pedals of the pump organ yellow circled your pupil in sounds of nonsense mouth noises outside languages comprehensible we exchange in languages incomprehensible
one early morning when this life is over i will remember the fresh green of may and life blooming to a cappella voices accent beauty i’ll await the day machine simple i’ll await the day machine simple i was born with my eyes open in an instrument with the same name that sits on your front steps you are inside running the sink to wash things down your textured 29 year old hands adjacent post bloomed stems celebrating full rotations full rotations awaiting the day machine simple awaiting the day machine simple hold the book containing drawings symbolizing beings alive your face composed translating internal symbolizing you are inside running the sink to wash things down chlorinated water falling your textured 29 year old hands adjacent post bloomed stems celebrating full rotations full rotations awaiting the day machine simple awaiting the day machine simple one early morning when this life is over i will remember the fresh green of may and the moment how it comes and disappears into its self


Machine Simple is an album of accumulated songs and sounds over the course of almost 2 years. The first song written was “As The Heat Rises” in summer 2021 at the base of Mount Rainier on the hottest day on record, 114 degrees Fahrenheit, standing in snow watching the river full of silt flow filled with its melt. The songs periodically appeared, along with others that aren’t on this record, throughout the next year and a half or so. The first attempt to record this album was in my old house on Heron Avenue in West Asheville, and bled into my friend Zack’s space down the street when our house was sold and we had to move out, and then when Zack came back from tour I set up a small studio in my friend Gabe’s bedroom while he was away. Gabe’s house had no heat and I remember a night the power was out and it dropped to 10 degrees Fahrenheit, I was so afraid for the tapes but it ended up OK. I had moved a piano into the bedroom and had a drum set in there as well. When Gabe came back I then moved into the shed on that property in Leicester, North Carolina. There were 8 songs about finished, only 3 of which made it onto the final version of Machine Simple.

Sham did our first post covid tour the following month, April 2022, to celebrate the release of Field of Vision Expanded. At some point on that tour (and paired with falling in love with Robert Wyatt), I decided I needed to start the album over, since it was so fragmented between location and energy that winter and spring. Also I wanted to do it on a different machine in a slightly different format than the previous album had been recorded. I bought a totally janky 8 track from someone in town and it took a handful of months to get it working enough to think about recording with it. I had never had any experience with the innards of a tape machine, I found myself stripping screws and replacing belts on the inside of that Tascam. While the tape machine dilemma was occurring, I also was having a really hard time finding a solid place to live & a place to record.

I went to Europe, with the intention of being away for a couple months, and then recording the album upon my return that fall of 2022. The first day I arrived to Europe I got an email for Sham to open for Animal Collective on a 2 week USA tour 2 weeks later. So I came right back, we put together the live band of Mikey, Madeleine, Zoie and J in a few days based on previous incarnations of the live Sham band. Upon returning from that tour, Sham as an entity had sort of shifted, even my perspective of it. Something had solidified, and the desire to be recording these new songs was truly bubbling up from within me. Returning from the tour and Europe trip, and a small period of having covid and sleeping in Madeleine’s car in Tennessee while it rained for days and days, I lived in a 100 year old cabin for a bit where Seth (one of the owners of the cabin, and a friend) helped me with some of this tape machine work. I wrote a couple of the songs for the record (You are Inside, Darkened Wood, Horizontal Comfort) in that cabin, and the tape machine finally came to life. About a month later it was lined up to move into my coworker and friend Rodney’s basement, where the backroom would be the perfect recording space after it received a deep cleaning. I moved all my things there and the day Madeleine and I were going to finally start sleeping there, Rodney unexpectedly passed away. This was really tragic and surprising, and made life quite unstable for a bit.

We did eventually move into the house, surrounded by Rodney’s amazing spirit, and it is there I finally had the space to set up a recording zone and restart the album. The songs had changed and only a few remained the same from the album a year before. I bleached the floors of the backroom in the basement and vacuumed and dusted and probably inhaled decades of dust and toxic materials.

Mikey started coming over every Tuesday and we would work out his parts on new songs or record songs live together. About half the album was done in this classic Sham format where we start the recordings with tracking our guitars live together, and layering up from there. There were also a handful of songs that started with me alone and I worked on those in between the times Mikey would come over. My original intention was to keep this album fairly simple with not too many other people involved, but we started imagining flutes and trumpets and other sonic textures throughout the songs as they grew. J came down around Thanksgiving to record some percussion on a few of the songs. We laid out all my percussive instruments and items from my house and did percussion live together on the floor with two mics. We would take walks on the train tracks in between songs and hung out for a few days. Later, in December or January, Clay White came over and added trumpet to a handful of the songs. Then I drove down to Athens, GA where John Kiran Fernandes played some clarinet on My Revolving Door, getting lost in Don Cherry records afterward. Lauren Bacchus came over a few afternoons to add flutes. Dave Portner came and hummed along with ‘Darkened Wood’, as well as added the textural rhythmic sample in Evaporated River Beds. I flew to Baltimore to record Austyn Wohlers sing harmonies on all the songs, recording with Jordan Romero at Jordan’s house. Madeleine Sis came downstairs and sang harmony on some songs, as well as played some prepared guitars on My Revolving Door. I bopped around to all my different friends pianos throughout Asheville with a hilarious set up of tube preamp and mixer and computer. Mikey added upright bass to some of the songs, in a hectic short period we had borrowed the bass before returning it. As well as his voice and other stringed instruments. Eric Rosario ripped some sax in Baltimore while I was there briefly, upstairs in the squatted house. Zoie added harmony to one final song. Meanwhile I was mixing and recording in between filling space, or leaving space, or doubling vocals, or clarinet, or broken guitars, or percussion, etc. This really became an opportunity to collaborate with people I’ve known for a long time while also collaborating with the new folks I’ve met through playing shows and living in Asheville. The whole process dragged on for months until sometime in March the mixes were done and the album was mastered (later for me to remix and have it remastered again) and Machine Simple was created. The cover is a painting of our living room I made in the same room as all the music. It’s all infused with this unfinished low ceilinged basement room and Rodney’s spirit.


Thank you to Mikey for being the best collaborator and friend I could ask for. My parents for creation and body. Madeleine for being loving, supporting and spontaneous partner in life. All who played or contributed to the album. Dave Portner for listening and sonic suggestions, as well as inspiration and support. Jordan Romero for helping record in Baltimore. Jeff my cousin who walked quietly and put up with sounds coming in through the vents. Billy Jonas for his piano, Jack Victor for his piano, Michael Basso & Chad Beattie for their piano. Mark Scearce for studio monitors, borrowed microphones, and mixing advice. Landon George & Clay White for the upright basses. Charlie Boss for the photos, vinyl formatting, visual help, support, and spirit. Animal Collective for the touring and support. Madelyn Anderson for connecting some dots and support. Steve Johnson for the continuous support and guiding music along into physical format. Thank you to Feeding Tube Records whose releases I adore. Thank you Seth and Leo for house and help fixing tape machine. All who have played in the live Sham band bringing these songs to life: J Brown, Madeleine Sis, Zoie Reamer, Andy Loebs, Helen Wells, Will Younts, Chad Beattie, Austyn Wohlers, Eric Rosario, Josh Dean, Clay White, Kory Johnson, Steve Everett, Max Heimberger, Gabe Rosen, Piero Pecchi, Freddie from London, and more who I may have forgotten, endless love to you.


released November 10, 2023

Shane Justice McCord : voice, guitar, production, bass guitar, clarinet, bass clarinet, piano, upright bass, percussion, pump organ, samples, keyboard

Mikey Powers : upright bass, cello, violin, guitar, percussion, voice

with very special guests (on tracks):

Austyn Wohlers : voice (on all songs)

J Brown : percussion (1,2,6,8)

Dave Portner : voice (3) samples (9)

Clay White : trumpet on (1,3,6,7,9)

Madeleine Sis : prepared guitar (6) & voice (8,10)

John Kiran Fernandes : clarinet (6)

Zoie Reamer : voice (5)

Eric Rosario : saxophone (1,9)

Lauren Bacchus : flute on (3,8,12)

Mastering by Scott Craggs


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Sham Asheville, North Carolina

songs of Shane Justice McCord expanded in collaboration with Mikey Powers, other friends & magnetic tape

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