I’ve never been very good at reviewing music in the ways other people might by saying something like “Well I liked the way that A and B intertwined together to make C which is in stark contrast to their earlier work where Individual #1 was the (Insert instrument here) player instead of Individual #2. Clearly this shows a more maturing sound and a step in the direction of the later work of Older More Well Known Artist #3 who infused his music with a blend of post-funk-pre-modern-alt-infused-grunge-rock-malt-shop-blues with a hint of spaghetti western-jailhouse….” … Sorry, I drifted off while writing that. That’s pretty much my long way of saying that I don’t review from a technical aspect as much as I do from a personal one. If you ever see me doing a review from a more technical standpoint and not personal at all, that’s how you can tell I’m not a huge fan of whatever I’m listening to.
Alright, now onto actually talking about Shades and their album Clear Motions! The song “Ghostlike” and the music video for it (still not 100% sure what’s going on there, but I like it) was my first taste of Shades. I’ll admit right here that I probably wouldn’t have given them a listen if it weren’t for the fact that I’m a casual acquaintance with one of the members of the band and I saw a link for it on his Facebook page. I’m glad I took the precious few minutes out of my all important day to listen to “Ghostlike,” because I liked it enough to listen to the rest of their album which they have free for all to listen on Soundcloud or to purchase at itunes.
I have mentioned before that as a fan of chillwave music, which I think Shades fits into (although not trying to pigeon hole them), it’s hard to swim through the thick piles of mucky sameness to find something new and fresh. Shades bested me in this regard by giving me not just one or two songs that I enjoy but a whole album. Usually I’m skipping around the web trying to listen to as many different artists as I can while looking for new music, but after I put Shades album Clear Motions on, I didn’t skip or change a track on it until it finished. I found myself being completely content with what I was hearing. Content may not sound like a compliment, but when you have Music-ADD (may also fall under the term “Easily Distracted”) like I do, it’s rare that something will hold my attention for that long a period of time.
Clear Motions put me into a nice mood that fit perfectly with the nighttime Seattle rain that was falling outside of the coffee shop (how hip and North west am I?) I was doing work at, and I bet if you give Shades a listen, you will enjoy them just as much as I.
If you’re looking for a better description of what Shades music is like, look no further than the description their record label Synthemesc (They have a lot of great artists I recommend checking out as well) gives them: “The four-piece band from Boise, Idaho known to the universe as Shades bring an eclectic mix of woozy melodic synths, crunched drums, smooth vocals and sweet vibes… We’re very excited to share a fantastic collection of songs that flow brilliantly into each other as warm waves grab the soul with emotion. Perfect for fans of Small Black, Washed Out, and love Shoegaze Electronica.”
You can catch Shades in concert at: The VAC March 1st in Boise, ID with Radiation City and Atomic Mama