Singled Out: Shallow Waves' Shapes

Shallow Waves

Toronto's Shallow Waves recently gave fans a taste of the new sound on their forthcoming sophomore album with their single "Shapes". To celebrate we asked Zaid Khan to tell us about the song. Here is the story:

The inspiration that led to Shapes was really the type of music I was listening to (especially 70s krautrock, a lot of Tangerine Dream, like a lot) as well as some of the events that were going on around my personal life at the time. I was in a weird place personally, I think it was mostly due to doing so many all nighters, and over experimenting with things, I perhaps should have taken a more moderate approach to. That, paired with listening to kraut rock and droning psychedelic music started the bedrock for what would become Shapes. I like to think, all that also helped in adding a weird hint of a pop sensibility, as I wanted to start creating a sonic balance within the music we do. For example, if there's an aspect of a song that's on the aggressive side (like heavy fuzzed out guitars), I liked to counteract it with another part which is on the softer/ melodic side (softer vocals, or some light synth strings).

At the same time, the band was going through a transition musically and trying to find its footing sonically. We started moving away from just being influenced primarily by alternative rock to a band being immersed in psychedelic sounds and noisy textures. Which in part, was thanks to me starting to (attempting to, is more accurate) taking up synthesizer. Initially, I wanted to add a member who would play synth, but that didn't really work out. You'd be surprised how many people do not play in this city. So, I took it upon myself to now not only sing and play guitar but also play synth as well, maybe just to make things difficult for myself. I'm trying to find a balance on it, but I like the result and it brought out some really interesting textures.

As for the recording facet, we actually tried something different, in which we recorded all the parts in various places. It was also the fact that we did our previous EP "live off the floor" and we weren't too keen on the how it turned out. It was a good album, but not what we envisioned. So, we used Shapes as testing ground to try and record the song in pieces. Guitars and synths were done at Taurus Studios (Metz and F***ed Up have done albums there), bass was done at Jesse (our drummer's studio) and vocals and additional synths were done at my home studio. It wasn't intentional but it did work really well and we were really happy with the final product.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more right here!

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