Leading in with precipitous drums, an ominous bass-line, airy siren-like keys, and guitars that tumble down like icy rain, Portland post-punk act Shadowhouse’s crooning ballad “A Year Today” is some of the band’s finest work to date, with lyrics that resonate with such heartrending feelings of loss that evoke the feeling being unable to wake from a bad dream.
“My heart keeps asking me, how can this be so?”
Shadowhouse’s frontman Shane explained the writing of “A Year Today” to DarknessCalling.net:
“The single was recorded by Mike Lastra of Smegma Studios here in Portland. Since I was a teenager (I’m 39 now), I’ve always wanted to record there. A lot of my favorite punk records were made there back in the day: great acts like Poison Idea, Greg Sage/The Wipers, and even Kurt Cobain…Our drummer Niff at the time was good friends with Mike and actually got him to come out of retirement and record us. It then went to Felix Fung of Little Red Sounds in New Westminster, BC, for mixing. Felix is very much a sixth member of the band. We’ve been working with him since our “Conformity” single. He put in a lot of hard work with the mixing, and you can hear it.”
(Felix Fung was also a member of Mode Moderne, mixed acts like Spectres, Sally Dige, and many more artists from the Vancouver BC area.)
On capturing that authentically tenebrous dark 80s sound, Shane continues:
“As for equipment, nothing’s too old except our amps, which are 1979 Roland Jazz Chorus 160’s. The best I can answer for the encapsulation of 80’s sound is that I went through a very dark period and dealt with a lot of lies, rumors, heartbreak, and manipulative people. The isolation helped me write the music that you hear today.”
Listen to “A Year Today” below:
“A Year Today”, with its brilliant cover art by French artist Collette St Yves, also includes the fantastic dark, danceable, and romantic B-side Tonight. The single is available on a limited edition lathe cut 45 by Texas’s Sacred Hands, as well as a limited edition cassette single via Portland’s Gone Home Records. The single is also available through French label Icy Cold Records here.