Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Shadowboxer - 2011 - Two Cities

Alternative Rock
<a href="http://shadowboxer.bandcamp.com/album/two-cities">?</a>
  • 4 songs to download
  • You name the price (min 0,-)
  • You get the link if you register your email address
  • Listening recommendations: Dancer, Villianelle
This is the reason scouring bandcamp for new and interesting (and free, don't forget free) music has become so beneficial – Finding musicians you wouldn't have otherwise heard, that occasionally blow you away. Shadowboxer's EP Two Cities hits all the right buttons as far as I'm concerned. Hayley Martin has a beautiful, versatile voice capable of soaring heights and barely audible whispers, moving between the two extremes of her range with ease on each of the four tracks. I'll just say this now, Martin's voice sounds remarkably like Imogen Heap's, high praise as far as I'm concerned. Her voice may have its detractors, but they're missing out if they shy away from listening to Two Cities on that basis alone. The music has a pop rock aim; guitars and drums dominate the songs here, not samples and keyboards even if both are present (Imogen-lite it is not). Lyrically Two Cities is not warm and fuzzy, and is best summed up by it's cover art. There are songs about love, sure, but here it's broken and painful; the kind that requires time and distance to talk about. There is even a take on English poetic form ('Villianelle'). Aidan O' Brien's arrangements create aurally vibrant landscapes that ensure the lyrics really come to life and fit the mood of each song perfectly. 'Juniper' is anthem-sized with a really ominous low end. 'Dancer' slinks away in size, being colder sounding, relying on airy synths and a drawn out, but heavy bassline to create its broken nostalgia. Villanelle borders on what I feel is trip-hop, while Word of a Stranger is; by comparison, straight forward guitar-driven rock and a really strong way to end this EP. I might have been hooked by the Heap-esque vocals, but there's a lot more to Two Cities than just that, and I think wasfuersohr readers should dive into this EP to find out for themselves. Amazing.

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