Music Review: Lilac Shadows

Bright. Dark. Quiet. Loud.

Carrboro’s Lilac Shadows chooses these simple, juxtaposed adjectives to describe the swirl of sound that comprises the Shallow Madness EP. And when considering the record’s pleasantly conflicting composition, these words encompass the band’s satisfyingly intense spirit.

The band is led by Sam Logan and rounded out by Derek Torres, Karen Blanco and Annuals’ Zack Oden. Considered the sister band of fellow locals T0W3RS, Lilac Shadows strays away from the more bubbling synth of the latter, injecting a little bit of darkness into the musical realm. Shallow Madness requires intense broodingas it provokes, reaches deep and remains difficult to sum up.

With each of its four songs stretching to at least five minutes, the soundscapes Shadows paints are lush and intricate, a combination of psychedelic-pop crescendos and gentle waves of synth. The soundtrack of twisted whimsical fairytale, this record loops and sharply changes course time again, washing over the airwaves with an innocuous, enchanting haze.

The genre-bending song “A Shallow Madness” delicately launches the album, as Logan’s vocals are gently accompanied by soft and bouncing synth. But it’s when the growing sound transitions to “What Dreams” that the listener becomes fully engulfed.

Full of eerie guitar and pensive pauses, it’s this song that invites us to crawl under the rippled blanket of sound the band has orchestrated. Once hooked, there isn’t any turning back.

Shallow Madness can require some time as each track is initially quite a labor. But although Shallow Madness is loosely defined, it doesn’t completely lack cohesion. There’s no doubt this is one multitude of musical layering that’s not for the background.

It’s the tasteful nuances and labored listening that make an album that flourishes and rewards with anticipation of what’s to come. Choose this darkly-tinged elixir of a record and prepare to find out exactly what lurks behind the shadows.

Lilac Shadows
Shallow Madness EP?
Psych pop
Dive Verdict: 4 of 5 stars

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