1 Dec 2023

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Shadowcaster - Single Review: Friends

18 Dec 2022 // A review by Peter-James Dries

I sometimes wonder how performers choose their stage names.

Is Trent Graham, Shadowcaster’s ringleader, taller than average?
Do they moonlight as some kind of mage?
Are they one of those morbid depressionists that bring a contagious darkness wherever they go? You know, a “Debbie-Downer”.

I ask, because despite the connotations of the band name, their new single, Friends, is the opposite of dark.

This is not the scuffed black metal I was expecting, which anyone who heard their last single Cast a Shadow would know. It’s more… Rufus Wainwright…? Is that the guy from Powderfinger? No. That was Bernard Fanning. The pop world is a bit murky for me…

Shadowcaster sounds like one of them. Or both of them. Though the music is closer to Bernard Fanning. Stripped back to the bare essentials, semi-acoustic, the human elements of live performance intact, and complete with a sing-a-long section. Like a live band in a Morris St flat, albeit performed better than any such spectacles I heard in my days down the student streets.

The song’s alright; the recording is crisp and clear, the band performs well, and because the vocals aren’t polished you can hear that Trent can actually sing. Personally, the sentiment is a bit too frivolous for my tastes though. You don’t become a writer by having a lot of friends, so it’s more than a little difficult to relate to the lyrics. But I can imagine this track being a summer anthem for those twenty-somethings that still go outside, attempt to maintain relationships, and find joy in the company of other people.

It’s almost a novelty to hear such upbeat, wholesome releases in these dark times.
Let’s see if their next release lives up the name, or if Shadowcaster remains the light we need in this world.

5/5 stars. They did what they do well. It’s not their fault I’m a "Nigel-no-mates".

You'll find Friends on Spotify sometime around New Year's Eve.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )

About Shadowcaster

Hailing from several points across the lower North Island, Shadowcaster is a fledgling 6-piece ensemble offering an assortment of introspective, upbeat originals penned by frontman Trent Graham. Individually inspired by a wide array of both classic and contemporary sounds, the Shadowcaster family marries their eclectic hodgepodge of styles together to create a nostalgic pop-rock jaunt that's as energetic and vibrant as it is thoughtful and endearing.

Started in 2021, Shadowcaster was started when Trent Graham, who had left the music scene for 6 years after achieving a Diploma in Contemporary Music Performance at UCOL, got another guitar and knew that this is what had been missing from his life. Calling upon his former band mates from high school, the team started working together on writing new, original music, as well as a look at Trent's backlog of original compositions.

Shadowcaster has released 9 songs on digital platforms, started the Small Town Band Podcast, and participated in Battle of the Bands 2023, managing to make it into the Wellington Regional Finals.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Shadowcaster


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