This week’s guest is River (a.k.a. Sarah) Shook. As the bandleader and namesake of Sarah Shook & The Disarmers, Shook has ardently toured throughout the U.S. and Europe. They’ve released some excellent albums, including Nightroamer, which came out on Thirty Tigers in February. Following the release of that acclaimed album and ample touring in support of the record, Shook’s “dark pop” project called Mightmare just put out its debut album on Kill Rock Stars last week.

Before Shook and company hit the road for the first Mightmare tour (including an October 29 show at Cactus Club), they spoke with My First Band host Tyler Maas about hitting the road in a big way again, releasing two drastically different albums on two respected labels in the same calendar year, and how their recent run of European shows went. Naturally, the conversation also moved to Shook’s musical history. Over the course of the discussion, Shook talked about growing up in a religious household and only being allowed to listen to worship and classical music, teaching themself to play guitar on an acoustic borrowed from a friend, the origin of early projects that eventually morphed into The Disarmers, and some of their favorite experiences from their career.

My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth (“The Junction Street Eight Tigers”) and Mightmare (“Easy”).