Photo Credit: Isha Shah
Following his singles ‘Ego Insaniac’ and ‘Dancing Alone Again,’ electronic mastermind Shadient is back with a double release of ‘Crash’ and ‘Roadworks.’ These releases are the final tastes of what’s to come from Shadient’s full length album, which is coming out later in the fall.
Both ‘Crash’ and ‘Roadworks’ are fine testaments to Shadient’s superior sound design, and also show off his ever growing production versatility.
Featuring the sassy vocal stylings of fknsyd and Catnapp, ‘Crash’ is a dark industrial bass song with a thudding bassline and a dark, yet empowering energy. Meanwhile, ‘Roadworks’ is a callback to 2010s UK pop, with ominous vocal samples and breathy vocals sung by Shadient himself.
Shadient didn’t stop at just producing the tracks, he also offers a visual element to go along with the singles in a joint lyric video, which Shadient created himself. Using motion graphics, old film footage and other captivating visuals, the video shows off the dichotomy between the two releases, ‘CRASH’ being dark and heavy, ‘Roadworks’ being light and promising.
Shadient’s full length artist album is long awaited by fans, and ‘CRASH’ and ‘Roadworks’ serve as the perfect teaser ahead of the album’s full release later this fall. The time and energy invested into the LP speaks volumes to Shadient’s devotion to his craft. Come 2022, fans can expect to see Shadient on tour in the US.
What’s your story?
I’ve been making music since early 2007. My early fascinations in music live on in my present taste too. I was rinsing Burial, Justice, anything that felt like it was going against the grain at the time. It’s something that I’ve always appreciated my past self for doing to this day, because I’ve always carried that approach to my own music and art too. I just want to do something that feels authentic and something a slightly different colour to the rest of the palette that already exists.
What inspired this single?
Sympathy Coil was one of the first songs I made for the record. Originally the vocals were written for an existing song, but I was unhappy with the result. I took the vocals fknsyd had sent me for that song and tried to do something I’d never done before (write a song around an acapella). The process felt so natural and I was so overwhelmingly happy once I’d finished it. I think Sympathy Coil was the first song I finished on the album and once I had done so I told myself “yeah I think I’m finally doing it”
What are some sources of inspiration for your storytelling?
I take most of my influence in recent years from outside of music. It’s very rare these days that I find music that really takes me back and makes me think. The majority of my inspiration and influence in how I want to reflect meaning in my art comes from a lot of films I watch. Sometimes computer games too. I’m always watching the most obscure horror film I can find, or trying to find the most emotionally evocative game I can pick up and enjoy in my own time when I’m not trying to make tunes. If it makes enough of an impact on me I often don’t even immediately go to writing something inspired by that after consuming it. It’ll stay with me for weeks, months, even years on end.
Any funny anecdotes from the time you were recording or writing the album?
The entire process felt almost comedic to me in retrospect. I spent so many years neurotically obsessing over the idea of making something on such a grand scale, and I think the whole absurdity of a global pandemic really forced me into this headspace of a shared pain the entire world felt and enabled me to not feel pressured anymore, because I knew that there was no competition anymore (I like to tell myself music isn’t a competition, but I think every artist at some point suffers the agony of comparing yourself to others). I spent 2015-2019 trying so fucking hard trying to make SOMETHING that could even fit on an album. But nothing really felt like it stood out enough to me. Once the pandemic came around I was just like “ok it’s fucking go time” and made the whole thing in the space of 5 months.
Tell us about the music video and the idea behind it ?
The video for Dancing Alone Again came to me as early as I’d written the first version with fknsyd’s vocals. It was so blatantly inspired and influenced by the work of Don Hertzfeldt; someone I’m an enormous fan of. I’ve never really tried to animate or anything like that, and I was still relatively new to making videos as a whole but in all honesty when a vision meets a challenge like that and it comes together so successfully, I think, for an artist, is something you feel so grateful for. Any artist will tell you that almost NEVER happens.
What’s a record that shaped your creativity?
Many records have shaped me into the artist I am today, but I think I simply wouldn’t be making music if it weren’t for Gorillaz’ “Demon Days”. That album was the first piece of music I ever owned. It was all I knew, and it was a cartoon fictional band that I, at the time, genuinely believed was real (I must add I was 8 at the time). Demon Days has such a delicate yet striking and immediate stylishness to it that I’m not sure any album has quite achieved in the same way, even among their *own* discography.
Who is an artist or band you look up to today?
I was late to the Radiohead party unfortunately. But their music and entire legacy has been fuelling a lot of the fire in my heart lately. If anyone makes the grave mistake I made of never really taking the time to check their work out I think you’re doing yourself a disservice.
Any future projects?
I’m always working on things. I’d like to work with more people after this album is out, since that’s something I don’t do very often.
Top 3 dream collaborations?
FKA Twigs, Lorn, Aphex Twin
What does music mean to you?
Music is the linguistic set of shapes that words cannot form
How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard you?
Restrained, Gloomy, Bleak and Punished.