New music, I hear you rejoice! It is my absolute pleasure to introduce you to your new favourite band, Tales In The Shade.
A wonderfully eclectic mix of individuals, with an incredibly expansive and exciting take on music. Hailing from Wales and the South West, Tales In The Shade have performed on and off together locally since 2018, so you may have caught them at a gig or two already. However 2020 will see them release their debut single ‘Elephant’ and I cannot even begin to express to you how great it is.
I’m sure you’re curious to know a little more about them, right?
Well, each band member brings their own unique diverse sound and style to the band, having been a part of numerous other musical outlets over the years. From an ELO tribute band to a heavy metal mash up, Tales In The Shade have the full-colour spectrum of musical influences. Such a rich variance of experience, combined with a can-do attitude and ability to perform so well together, means that Tales In The Shade have created a band of friends, as well as musicians.
The band do not label themselves as being a part of a particular genre, but would rather describe their sound as an abstract, underlying concept. Their varying thought processes and ideas collide gorgeously, to allow them to create songs that they write collaboratively through an initial brainstorming process.
Tales In The Shade breathe more life into their lyrics than your average songwriter.
Before their songs even materialise, Tales In The Shade create their own back-stories, worlds and universes for their songs to be set in. These stories give Tales In The Shade their very own dimension from which they can source characters, and an array of fantastic plot lines, as a basis for their music. Similar in a sense to the works of Creeper and Green Day, where recurring characters and storylines entwine throughout multiple songs. Who knows in the future, Tales In The Shade could have their very own Rock Opera on the way! Move over American Idiot.
The bands front man Sam Griffiths (pictured above) explains their creative approach in more detail;
“We like the idea of not telling a story in a verbatim and obvious way, but to just tell a fragment of a story, an ambiguous hint of a bigger picture. If we were to write a song set in a world of superheroes, we wouldn’t be writing about Batman, we’d be writing about the perspective of the unassuming janitor cleaning away in the next room. ‘Show and don’t tell’ can have tremendous power lyrically.”
Being a writer myself, their creative means of devising song lyrics really appeals to me, and has made the prospect of future releases incredibly intriguing. Recording their music on the brink of lockdown, Sam expressed to me how finessing their debut single within those last few precious hours was “a very profound and memorable way to experience such a devastating event.” The band have had zero human contact with one another since, but are eagerly awaiting the chance to be back in the recording studio as soon as they are able.
I’ve been lucky enough to have a chance to listen to their debut single ‘Elephant’ before its scheduled release on 21st May.
The track is a brilliant wave of psychedelic pop, similar in sound to the likes of Childcare.
‘Elephant’ begins by blending blaring keys with charged, almost spoken lyrics, and Tales in the Shade showcase their own unique arrangements within this track beautifully.
As psychedelic pop breaks down to give way to a passionate and boldly delivered theatrical rap sequence. It is clear to see the amount of care and craft the band put into perfecting each element of their sound, and I adore hearing each person’s own musical tastes and styles shine through gloriously. Contrasting segments are clearly defined within ‘Elephant’ and the track allows for an exciting, and different take on music, that certainly made me sit up and pay attention.
On my first listen to ‘Elephant’, the variance in sounds with each second that passed, left me giddily excited as to where they would take the track next.
For a debut release, it definitely proves to be a surprising and pleasant listen, and I adored the array of styles incorporated within a single song. Psychedelic pop, theatrical rap, and gorgeous harmonies from co-vocalist Samantha, all on one track. I can now understand exactly why Tales in the Shade don’t wish to shackle themselves to a particular genre. Their music is far more expansive than that, and marrying this with their ideas and concepts, allows for a mind-warping trip where genres play no importance.
Speaking of their debut single, Sam also gave me the inside scoop on their thought processes for its lyrical content;
“Elephant is a cautionary, slightly tongue in cheek tale about the dangers of the internet, the obsession for likes and social media favour and the superficiality that comes with it …all unfolding in an alternative versions of the 90’s; the heady days of awkward technology and warbling 56k modems.”
Tales In The Shade are a wonderfully different and exciting band to discover, and I’m very excited to know what you all think of their debut single ‘Elephant’ upon its release in a few days time.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this opportunity to get to know them in a little more depth.