London three-piece SHADED are a hard-hitting modern pop-punk and poignant rock, complete with RnB-driven vocals and are celebrating the release of their brand new EP ‘A Familiar Love’ via Common Ground Records.
Of the release, frontman Matt James East has said, “The word ‘proud’ doesn’t even come close to describing how we all feel about finally being able to share the new EP with the world. I know I speak on behalf of the whole band when I say that we are so excited for people to hear the record in its entirety.”
We caught up with Matt for a track-by-track rundown of what to expect from their new release.
01.) DREAM GIRL
The opening track for the record definitely sets the tone for the EP. It’s probably not what most people would expect from reading the song title, which is what I really love about it. The track pretty much summarised how I was feeling at the time of writing it, having just come out of a pretty tough relationship and trying to convince myself that my life was better off without them. Instrumentally, this was definitely one of the more technical tracks. It gave Callum and Dan a lot of room to experiment which was really beneficial. Nothing was rushed and it all came so organically.
02.) A FAMILIAR LOVE
One of the more emotional tracks and also the title track, ‘A Familiar Love’ definitely struck a chord with us when we came out of the studio having just finished recording it. It was the very first song we wrote for this record, and was the very first song that stood out immediately. It’s about finding solace in the good times that you shared with someone, whether that relationship be over or in a rough place. Instrumentally, the drums are technical and off-beat, the lead guitar is poignant and the vocal melodies are exciting, so it’s definitely one of our favourites to play live. It’s got immediate energy, and it’s a track that we can’t help but move to whenever we hear it.
03.) TELL ME
‘Tell Me’ was the track that we wanted to bridge that gap between where our sound was with the first EP and where we wanted to go with ‘A Familiar Love’. It was the first track that we released before announcing the EP, and it was our way of telling people “We’re still writing pop-punk songs, but there’s a lot more to us and a more mature sound that we want to explore.” I think it’s really important to never let yourself fall under one genre because sometimes musicians use that as an excuse to get comfortable and just start recycling the same songs over and over with minimal adaptation. We have always been influenced by a wide range of musical styles and genres and our tastes are always changing, and I think that is what made this EP so exciting to write, because we genuinely didn’t know what to expect from the outcome. Lyrically, ‘Tell Me’ details the pressures of communication within a dysfunctional relationship, which is a common theme throughout the record.
04.) DEAD FEELINGS
This was mainly my venting track. This was the song where I sort of said to myself “No sugar coating this with fancy metaphors and phrases, this is how I’m feeling, I want to talk about it and I couldn’t care less of what people think.” For me, the first part of the healing process when my relationship fell apart was the stage where you feel nothing but anger and upset towards the situation. The track is very honest and straight to the point and perfectly captures where I was, mentally, at that point in time. This was definitely one of our more rock-y tracks, with the tight, stabby chords in the verses, the single-string riffs, and the transitions between normal-time and half-time. It’s going to be a really good head-banger so we’re definitely excited to start playing it live.
Being a band that’s very much influenced by synth-fueled pop, ‘You.’ gave us a great chance to explore that fully. It’s got a heavily layered chorus with vocals and synth following one another, which I think is what makes this a track that sticks with you after hearing it. In certain musical scenarios, less is definitely more, and that is what I took into account when figuring out the lead hook. Instrumentally, it’s quite a technical, pop-rocky track, which I think is what gave room to the vocals to have a very simple and effective chorus line. Lyrically, it’s a conclusion and realisation of the fact that, no matter how bad things seem, everything does in fact happen for a reason and that is something that I strongly stick by. It’s about allowing the positives to outweigh the negatives and, in my case, allowing the emotional connection that I had with someone to outweigh the feelings of negativity I had towards them when things got difficult.
‘A Familiar Love’ is available now, and you can order it online via different platforms (here).