Saturday, July 23, 2016

Album Review: Shades - For The Sake Of Experimentation (2016)

Released a month ago as a name-your-price deal on Bandcamp, For The Sake Of Experimentation is a six-track EP from a duo called Shades. Not to be confused with the Melbourne-based artist of the same name, these guys, according to their brief and rather modest bio on Bandcamp, are “two dudes from New Zealand”. As self-produced self-released debut EP’s go, this one is exceptionally polished, and I'm a little surprised it hasn’t yet gained a little more commercial traction. Then again, Gavin Woodward and Nick Wrathall, who work out of Auckland and Wellington respectively, are only just starting out, and their beautifully crafted intoxicating blend of dreamy pop hasn't yet caught the ear of the wider public. Brief excursions into the realm of hip hop aside, there's something distinctly "yacht rock" about these tunes, and with its breezy production sheen, the EP appeals as something of a throwback to a bygone era of plush radio-friendly pop. There’s four songs on For The Sake Of Experimentation, but actually six tracks, with ‘Soundless Speed’ working as a short intro at just over a minute long, and we get two versions of a tune called ‘Shapeless’, with a rework by Yume acting as the EP closer. I’m a bit reluctant to single out highlights, but both ‘Slow Down’ and ‘Summer Spent’ probably fit the bill. Stream or download from the link below, or check out the same work on the Shades Soundcloud page

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