Photo credit: Gavin Kelly
Did we mention there's a delectable eeriness to Shadow Band's sound?
Anchored in Philadelphia, Shadow Band
is the latest incarnation of singer-songwriter Mike Bruno
's ongoing trip into the haunting landscape of his evolving vision of delicately embellished folk music.
Having evolved from the Black Magic Family Band, Shadow Band (currently a nine-piece group) released its proper debut album Wilderness of Love
, one of my favorite releases so far this year,
on Mexican Summer back in February.
While Shadow Band doesn't come off as indebted to anything but their own sonic instincts, the group could certainly be filed alongside 1960's hippie-folk seekers like Incredible String Band, Pentangle, and Fairport Convention. The band may remind some of a more earthy, less ornate Grizzly Bear.
Shadow Band's gently psychedelic music is a pristine bath of medieval melody and meandering patterns, left to stagnate, polluted by a warped American-rural runoff. The band may live and record in Philly, but the eerie, uncannily familiar (yet somehow strange) sound that they manage seems more like it emerges, wearing the hush and crackle of whole mystical histories, from northern Pennsylvania's dense woods. It's beautiful stuff, but it also feels imbued with a deep sense of ancient, slow-moving darkness.
For a few especially choice examples of the band's current sound, I'd recommend Wilderness of Love
tracks "Green Riverside," "Shadowland," and "Illuminate."
Catch Shadow Band in action on August 24 at Lowcountry, where they will be supported by local freak-folk/psych-rock act Flower Jesus Quintet
Shadow Band feat. Flower Jesus Quintet
Free, 10:00pm, Thurs, Aug 24, Lowcountry, 318 Martinez St, (210) 560-2224, lowcountrysa.com.