Shadowplay | Almost Lifelike

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Rock: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock Rock: Post-Rock/Experimental Moods: Mood: Intellectual
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Almost Lifelike

by Shadowplay

This sophomore album pushes the band into musical maturity. Post-hardcore, prog-rock, post-rock, instrumentals with vocals that take influence from 70's and 90's rock/grunge. Here there is time in noise.
Genre: Rock: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Zach Likes Trains
5:42 album only
2. Amira
4:32 album only
3. I'm Kanye West
6:16 album only
4. Basement (Full of Spiders)
4:32 album only
5. It's Time
4:36 album only
6. All That We Hear
5:18 album only
7. Empty Skeleton
4:18 album only
8. She's Doing Well
4:45 album only
9. Spectre
5:32 album only
10. Nobody Knows, But You Might
5:30 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Shadowplay's second album "Almost Lifelike" is unlike anything the band has ever done before. In their early years the group was very clearly influenced by the sounds of classic rock and grunge music from the 70's and 90's. This time around, the horizon of influence is far more vast. The bands most recent release of original material before "Almost Lifelike" was the 2013 single "Sandy Eyes" and it was the first time they were connected with producer Ted Richardson. "Sandy Eyes", named after the Hurricane that brought devastation to the group's home state the year prior, was certainly an improvement in their production quality; however, it was still very clearly a song in the classic rock vein. The band was smart to choose to work with Richardson again for their next album. What's different about "Almost Lifelike" is apparent almost immediately on the album's first song: "Zach Likes Trains". For one thing, it's the very first song the band has recorded that wasn't written by guitarist Dan Holden or multi-instrumentalist John Sellers. Edward Flynn kicks off the record with yet subtly guitar arpeggio very much in the veins of post-rock bands like Maserati or Mogwai, and when lead singer Andrew Corkery begins to sing he's more subtle than ever before. The ambiance slowly builds to a sudden dynamic shift, and as soon newly requited drummer Jamile Wiggins hits the snare Shadowplay sounds like an entirely new animal in comparison to their early work. On "Almost Lifelike" the songs are brooding, and Ted Richardson does a wonderful job of keeping the band's intricacies compressed and cohesive when they need to be, and he's also not afraid to let the crescendo's really explode when the material demands it. Lead single "Empty Skeleton" sounds like if Rage Against the Machine and Phantogram had a baby. "All That We Hear" is both smooth jazz and the inner turmoil of Slint. On their new album the band describes Kanye West through metaphors not too dissimilar to Shakespeare's Macbeth all above a cacophony and beat only heard on Battles songs. Shadowplay makes peace with lovers both past and current and demands our governments be held accountable for their actions. For all it's weirdness, Richardson keeps this work strangely cohesive, and it truly is unlike any other album out there. If the bands early releases were Pablo Honey, this is the Bends en route to O.K. Computer. Each songwriter is present here in full form and beginning to blossom. After hearing this record, we can only hope the next one comes out sooner rather than later.



to write a review

K. Andrew Deffley

Mesmerizing and Brilliant
I was in Philadelphia for Shadowplay's CD-release show a couple of evenings ago. I’ve now seen Shadowplay live twice in the past year, and I was blown away both times. Though I'm a typical, A.D.D., music-lover with a waterfront villa in Mainstream, U.S.A., their CD has been playing nonstop in my car since the end of their set--about 64 hours at the time of this review.
"Almost Lifelike" is aptly named by Shadowplay. It's vibrant, deep and original, but also hauntingly beautiful and otherworldly.
The infinite range of Andrew Corkery's vocals match the endless depth of instrumentation by virtuosos Holden, Sellers, Flynn and Wiggins. The backup vocals have rich octave support. The album artwork is beautifully done, with simple-yet-surrealistic photography and an insert of tracks and lyrics that successfully captures the omnisensory experience of opening and listening to a vinyl album for the first time.
While it’s unique, you'll pick out and discuss with friends little snippets of inspiration and influence from other great bands--spanning every genre--in their music. While it’s inspired, you'll ponder the personal, life-experience translation of the sheer poetry in their lyrics.
Without a weak link in the album, you'll listen, mesmerized, from "Zach Likes Trains (Track 1)," through "Nobody Knows, But You Might (Track 10)," wondering whether the journey you just took was real.
SPOILER: It was.