Seattle-based electronica duo Static Shore returns with another fantastic release and follow-up to their Life & Love in the Hologram EP, once again showcasing the honeyed vocals of Shannon Alexander set to Eric Smith’s diverse array of synthesizers and digital programming. Comprised of five compositions spanning twenty minutes in length, Tides variably explores downtempo, ethereal and electro-pop styles of music, which proves to be a thoroughly rewarding listening experience from start to finish.
“Money and Time” opens the album with bouncy timbres and digitized layers as Shannon lays her smooth vocals over a luxuriant soundscape supported by a choppy beat and thick bassline. Evocative of the city and urban life, the song sets the mood for the rest of the album, which seemingly navigates its way through a not-so-distant futuristic world. “Friend” follows next with Shannon singing more ethereally over a laid-back disco-house rhythm. Imparting a smooth chill vibe and a warm, summery atmosphere, it’s easy to imagine taking a drive along a coastal highway. “Choose the Calm” aptly winds things down a bit with a slower-paced downtempo rhythm and somewhat distorted effects, as Shannon’s vocals are given subtle overdub effects. “The Opposites” ensues with digital bleeps and metallic timbres supported by a muted trip-hop beat, which further lend the composition a notably futuristic vibe. “Anchor and Sail” rounds things out with pulsating currents and aquatic effects, as Shannon’s subtly echoing vocals are mesmerizingly encapsulated like a submarine deep in the ocean, collectively making this my favorite track of the lot.
Another highly impressive EP, the music of Static Shore is both seemingly underground yet accessible, as well as refreshingly unassuming. With a voice that’s incredibly easy on the ears, Shannon’s vocal contributions serve as the perfect companion to Eric’s enthralling soundscapes, as the duo largely skirts the boundaries of chill-out, trip-hop and electronic dance music. Evoking subtle similarities to bands like Bonobo, Delerium and Purity Ring, Tides strikes a perfect balance between delicate beauty and edgy electronica!