Shades is an synth-driven pop band based out of Boise, Idaho and formed in 2011 by friends Louie Bash (synthesizers, sampling), David Mikkelson (lead vocals), Nathan Hope (drums), and Tom Racine (guitar). The lush melodic arrangements of the band have been categorized into some of the more recently forged genre scaffolds such as glo-fi, shoegaze electronica, chillwave, and dream pop.
Photo Credit: Louie Bash
The name “Shades” is affiliated with the concept of synesthesia, that is, the neurological phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second. Hence, seeing shades of color in each song, based the way it makes you feel when you listen to it. The band has taken this concept to the stage with uniquely designed light shows that flood over the stage and crowd with colors based on the song being performed at the time, carefully calculated down to each beat and note being played.
In 2012, the band signed with artist TEEEL’s New Jersey-based record label, Synthemesc Recordings and received a very warm welcoming from tastemaker blogs at the time for their freshman release, “Clear Motions”. Some of the responses included blurbs such as: “Layers of sound fold and frolic around your ears like waves of light. Listening closely you can spot hints of Animal Collective, Washed Out and perhaps a smidgen of Ratatat” and were also featured in Paste Magazine’s “10 Idaho Bands You Should Listen to Right Now” feature.
Three years later, Shades is about to self-release their second full-length album, entitled Common Desire during summer 2015. The album was written and recorded over frigid winters and balmy summer seasons. This becomes strikingly apparent when listening to tracks such as the melodically-blanketed track “Balloon”, and the elated and summery anthem, “Gasp”. Several vintage analog instruments in combination with contemporary sound design equipment gives Common Desire its signature woozy crunch while maintaining the crisp and warm fidelity, satisfying the tastes of both electronic music fans, as well as eclectic glo-fi vibe seekers.
Release Date: July 31, 2015
- No Other Way
- No Pressure
- Time Back
- Brief Escape
- Dark Tide
- Desert Eyes
- Lost Kids
- Smoke Screen
- Still Moons
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