Denver Artwork-Rock Band Shadow Work Makes Magic With New EP

The members of Shadow Work have been breaking down their tents in Northern California earlier than heading to Boise, Idaho, for the ultimate leg of the band’s West Coast tour. It might be a homecoming of types — Boise is the place Rafael Nava, Joseph Szlanic and Ben Zickau first crossed paths 5 years in the past. Nava and Szlanic, longtime mates and collaborators, slowed their swagger by way of the capital metropolis’s downtown boulevards after they heard dynamic percussion blasting from a busking Zickau, with whom they exchanged numbers.

The three males related once more a few yr later by way of a mutual pal who occurred to be Zickau’s roommate. With every musician at a crossroads between dissolved initiatives, they started formally collaborating, acting at dives and speakeasies in Boise whereas they discovered their footing as a trio. Improv jams and experimental units started to form what would develop into, upon their arrival in Denver in 2021, the art-rock band Shadow Work.

The band has hit its stride with the August 1 launch of its sophomore EP, Imago — a sulky, psychedelic assortment of 5 tracks. Following Shadow Work’s 2021 launch, Robben Island, the brand new EP is chock-full of Nava’s gravelly, impassioned vocals over Szlanic’s haunting, washed-out bass licks and Zickau’s far-away cymbal crashes and tom rolls.

For Nava, Imago represents a metamorphosis of Shadow Work’s sound, displaying how the lead singer’s long-held people influences organically seeped into the band’s identification reasonably than conforming to any particular style. “The primary report was me trying to be part of Shadow Work,” Nava explains. “That was me attempting to suit phrases that made sense and have been true to me whereas working in a band setting, and I really feel just like the second report is me being extra comfy within the band setting and with the ability to specific my acoustic facet and my people nature as an artist. … I really feel just like the elements aren’t smashing collectively anymore.”

“We’re a bit of extra comfy taking dangers now,” Szlanic provides, “as a result of there’s the underlying religion that it is gonna sound good.”

Shadow Work’s signature moodiness continues to be prevalent within the new work, however Imago sees the band additional embellishing its distinctive groove. Whereas tracks on Robben Island comprise comparable options, the group’s newer work appears to decelerate, with the musicians feeling extra comfy of their collective identification.

“I feel the primary report, Robben Island, was extra frantic — nearly like we now have to point out we’re this sort of musician and we’re additionally this sort of musician,” Nava displays. “And I feel this subsequent report is us being extra assured [in] the sound that we create collectively and letting these vibes proper out.”

The trio has large plans, together with including an area producer to its ranks to combine and match its subsequent challenge, which Shadow Work hopes shall be a full-length album adopted by a world tour. However for now, Imago shall be supported by a home tour beginning in Denver, with dates to be introduced quickly.

The Shadow Work members have quite a lot of love for the Colorado group, together with their standard stamping grounds of Denver, Fort Collins and Boulder, and so they cite native musicians and followers as an impetus for showcasing their sound on tour. Understanding the constructive reception the band receives after enjoying a present in Denver, Nava desires to “replicate precisely that” in different cities throughout the USA.

Within the course of, the trio may also be spreading its philosophical ethos, which is heard on Imago and revealed within the songs’ titles and ideas. Even Shadow Work’s moniker is a nod to that, influenced by Carl Jung’s thought of self-exploration by unlocking repressed recollections or feelings and embracing them to return nearer to a totally realized consciousness.

“I feel after we all bought collectively, our major focus was to make actually, actually cool and inventive music, after which secondary to that was changing into actually good mates who understood one another,” says Szlanic. “I feel that an individual’s an amazing foil for your self. You get an individual who comes from a totally completely different life than yours, and that entire completely different perspective simply shines gentle by yourself qualities which are good, but in addition your insecurities and your downfalls.”

Throughout the present tour, Zickau has been studying Jung in his spare time.

“I’m paraphrasing, however [Jung] stated the psychological function of a pal, or one in all them, is that it’s extremely straightforward for a pal to let you know one thing about your self that you’ve zero information of,” Zickau says. “And when you could have three folks doing that for one another persistently, I feel it is solely proper that you’d find yourself with a very cohesive unit, creatively.”

Imago is accessible now on all streaming platforms. Shadow Work performs the hi-dive, 7 South Broadway, at 8 p.m. Wednesday, August 23, opening for Pictoria Vark and Allison Lorenzen. Tickets are $12-$15.