Emerging from a five-year hiatus with renewed energy and a fresh perspective, Richmond, Virginia’s post-punk outfit, Shadow Age returns. The band is gearing up for a 3-week US tour starting October 25th, with select dates shared with Twin Tribes, VOSH, The Pop Ritual, and more!
As frontman Aaron Tyree states: “Excited to announce our first tour in more than five years. We will have some new and familiar faces with us and will be playing some new material for the first time live. We are playing a few of our favorite cities to play, and also playing some cities for the first time ever.”
With their return, Shadow Age is not just embarking on a tour but is also exploring new sonic territories. The band has just debuted a new brand single titled “Ours,” which along with a few remixes, will be released on cassette via Play Alone Records.
“Ours” is an emotional anthem that features Tyree’s powerful vocals, set against a danceable drumbeat and complemented by reverb-drenched guitars and keys. The song serves as a dreamlike tribute to resilience in the face of heartbreak, and is sure to move anyone who listens.
Watch the video for “Ours” below:
We recently spoke to Aaron Tyree about the new song “Ours,” the band’s return, what’s changed for Shadow Age, and the forthcoming tour:
Aaron, after taking a 5-year hiatus, how has the dynamic or direction of Shadow Age changed or evolved? Were there any personal or artistic realizations or occurrences during this time that impacted the band’s return?
Absolutely. So much has changed within myself and out in the real world over the course of the last five years. For me personally, most of the time since our last release has been defined by loss, and through those losses I’ve had to learn how my worldview and actions have a direct effect on the world around me. Dealing with the disintegration of the previous Shadow Age lineup as well as a long and drawn-out breakup concurrently was very difficult, but looking back and being able to see how my negativity helped manifest a lot of the challenges I was facing on both of those fronts has been enlightening to say the least. Davey Bales’ sudden and unexpected death, as well as the deaths of other friends and family members, had a profound effect on the lens with which I view the world and understand my place in it. Losing has impacted pretty much every aspect of my life, including how the band operates. So I would say if anything, its made the band and the songs more focused, more intimate, and more real.
Who is in the current lineup of the band?
Right now, our core lineup consists of myself singing and playing guitar, Tony Gloom on guitar and keyboards, and Patrick DeWit behind the drum kit. For this upcoming tour our former keyboard player Dann (DJ) Rothwell, will be filling in on bass.
During your time away, were there any specific musical or non-musical influences that inspired you or shifted the way you approached music upon returning?
Yes, I’ve always been influenced by a variety of different types of music outside of the genre. I think the biggest change moving forward has not been necessarily seeking inspiration sonically, but rather by how a song feels. Like, “Lovefool” by The Cardigans was a huge influence on “Ours” not because of how it sounds, but because of the type of bittersweet feelings it invokes (love, loss, hope…) it has a real sweet sort of ache to it. So, during the writing of these new songs, on my end at least, there was a lot of figuring out how to synthesize something like feeling lost, or dour, or violent, or hopeful into a sound. Then there is also life, like every one of our songs to date has some sort of connection to an idea or an experience I’ve had, so that will always have an influence on our music.
Do you think the music scene and landscape has changed since your last release?
Absolutely. I like to joke that pre-pandemic there were “too many bands” and that Covid snapped half of them away like Thanos, but I suppose we are far enough away from the pandemic that the ecosystem has kinda evened itself back out. I do think that as a direct result of the pandemic the internet plays more of a role than ever in being a “successful” band, which is unfortunate for those of us who just want to write songs and play shows and not be a social media manager. Like, how many different apps do we really need to essentially post the same shit? Because of the increased internet influence, I feel you find more bands writing to appease TikTok and Instagram algorithms which I think ultimately has made the genre as a whole more trite and more formulaic, at least to me. I think there are fewer bands out there really pushing the boundaries of what the genre can offer. The ones who do, the ones who are, and do it with heart are absolute gems, in my opinion.
Can you give us some insight into the inspiration and creative process behind this beautiful and melodic new single, “Ours”? How does it compare or contrast to your previous songs?
Sure. So, I had the idea for the song for a while, like I knew what components I wanted the song to have, and I knew how I wanted it to feel. It actually took a bit of trial and error to end up where we did with “Ours.” After scrapping a few songs that share similar foundations, I pretty much ended up fumbling my way into what ended up being the main guitar hook, and then Tony and I basically built the pieces of the song out from there. I was experimenting with new delay settings, LSD, and note placements that were a departure from what I tend to default to from muscle memory. Tony was experimenting with a variety of synth sounds and ended up creating two new keyboard settings on the ESQ from scratch. The end result was this beautiful song with a dreamlike sense of ennui. The lyrics and vocal melodies were written a few months later while I was stranded and heartbroken in a tweaker hotel in Salt Lake City for like 3 days.
Sonically its different from the rest of our catalog in that it is the first of our songs to be written with a second guitar in mind. Its also the first thing we’ve ever done with a bass synth arpeggiator, and most obviously, it is the first time I’ve really pushed the upper limits of my vocal register. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more confident or more comfortable tracking a vocal ever, and it shows in the track.
How did the collaboration for the remixes come about? What artists did you choose to put your spin on “Ours” and why did you pick them?”
The second we had the completed demo of “Ours,” I knew that we were sitting on our most remixable track to date, so the idea of remixing was pretty much there from the jump. As soon as we left the studio after tracking “Ours” I asked Tony about doing the Petrified Entity remix. I was curious to hear his take on what a remix would look like, seeing as how he co-wrote the track. I really like the bounce and optimism he brings to the track.
Maude is my friend and former bandmate Aaron Boles. He has been doing his thing out in LA for a few years now, and we have always talked about the possibility of him doing a remix at some point. This track just seemed suited for it. I like how big and theatrical his mix turned out.
Glyphics is the solo project of Evan Sharfe (formerly of Skeleton Hands). A couple of years ago, while visiting Evan in Cincinnati, he made a throwaway comment about completing a remix in an hour for a friend of his. I joked that I would give him the same amount of time to complete a Shadow Age remix and the whole idea of Evan doing a remix spawned from there. According to him, his remix is essentially what Shadow Age would sound like if he produced us. I kind of view this mix as an extended version of the song. I’m still not really sure how long he spent on it, it sounds like it took more than an hour…
Xör is the solo project of Matthew from Secret Shame. Ricky (who tracked ‘Ours’ and has had a hand in every Shadow Age recording to date) did a few of their recordings and reached out to Mathew about doing a remix. I really like how his mix feels more open and more dour. I also like how he played around with the structure of the song.
What are you most excited about as you prepare for the upcoming fall tour? Are there any venues or cities that hold a special place for Shadow Age?
There is actually quite a bit to be excited about… the Memphis show with Twin Tribes, Fotocrime, and VOSH is easily the most stacked show of the run, so it is very much an honor and privilege to be playing it. I’m very much looking forward to seeing The Pop Ritual nightly while they are with us over the Texas run of the tour. Chicago is always a treat. Shadow Age has always clicked there for some reason, so we are excited to be returning. I personally cannot wait to be back in the desert, it’s a very grounding place for me, and it is an added bonus to be playing with Yellowcake in Arizona. I was able to catch them a few months ago, and they were so fucking loud I thought my head was gonna explode Scanners style. Ultimately though, I think I’m just excited to be back on stage, playing with my squad every night.
Having come back after a break, what do you see for the future of Shadow Age?
I definitely see a regular bassist. Dann will be the fourth one we’ve had this year… aside from that, we will be completing our next record, writing a shit ton more songs, taking more risks, playing more shows, and enjoying the experience while trying not to take it all too seriously.
Shadow Age Tour Dates:
Oct 25 – Pittsburgh, PA @ The Rock Room (w/ Class, Take Me With You)
Oct 26 – Chicago, IL @ Open Center for the Arts (w/ Exedo, Joseff Duster)
Oct 27 – Memphis, TN @ Zen House (w/ Twin Tribes, Fotocrime, VOSH, The Pop Ritual)
Oct 28 – Dallas, TX @ The Armory (w/ The Pop Ritual, Sevit)
Oct 29 – Laredo, TX @ Boogaloo (w/ The Pop Ritual)
Oct 30 – San Antonio, TX @ The Mix (w/ The Pop Ritual, Nocturnal Prose)
Oct 31 – El Paso, TX @ The Living Room (w/ Oracion Funebre, La Discordia)
Nov 1 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Church (w/ Yellowcake)
Nov 2 – Los Angeles, CA @ Footsies
Nov 3 – San Diego, CA @ The Bancroft (w/ Fancy Faces)
Nov 4 – Oakland, CA @ Joy Gallery
Nov 5 – Portland, OR @ Blackwater (w/ Vueltas, At the Heart of the World)
Nov 7 – Salt Lake City, UT @ INTL Artist Lounge (w/ Mercy Seat)
Nov 8 – Denver, CO @ The Crypt (w/ VOSH)
Nov 9 – Wichita, KS @ The Lumberyard
Nov 11 – Indianapolis, IN @ Healer (w/ Cyanball, 11 Grams)
Nov 12 – Richmond, VA @ Cobra Cabana (w/ CMB, VV)
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