Emerging from the obscurity of a crowded talent pool in the American indie underground, the eclectic duo of Gold Light and Snakemusk issue an unforgettable collection of songs that pop, folk and country fans alike aren’t going to want to miss out on this month in the form of the album Shadows In The Shallows, debuting May 10th via Bailey Park and soon to be available everywhere that independent music is sold and streamed. In tracks like the poignant “Death,” jarring “One Thing After Another” and straight-laced “Nobody’s Baby,” Gold Light and Snakemusk give us plenty of reasons to believe than Americana is far from outdated; contrarily, it’s back and better than ever.
“Papa Knows Best,” “Release” and “The Last Picture Show” really struck me as the most supreme of the string-oriented tunes that this record sports, but in no way, shape or form could they ever steal the limelight away from the centerpiece lead vocals, which act as a linchpin for every song that we hear in Shadows In The Shallows. The guitars that we find in these tracks alone make this an album worth picking up this spring, but even in their gilded muscularity, it’s hard to steer our focus away from the crooning that binds their waves of melodicism together.
“The Heart is a Lonely Hunter,” “Heart of Black” and “Being Sweet” are super-friendly to college radio listeners and each feature a little more crossover appeal than I was expecting to find in this release. I was somewhat familiar with the works of Gold Light prior to listening to Shadows In The Shallows and only vaguely aware of Snakemusk, but there’s no debating whether or not I’ll be keeping a close eye on both artists following my enjoyment of this collaborative experiment. They’re a pint of country and a shot of rock n’ roll where it counts, and wholly one of the more diverse pairs that I’ve reviewed in a long time.
The chemistry between these two sounds natural and unforced from the get-go here, and if I wasn’t privy to the details of their origin story, you could have easily fooled me into believing that they had been making music together as a duo for a decade, as they play off of each other’s cues brilliantly in tracks like “One Thing After Another” and “Death.” They’ve got so much energy being only slightly exploited in this record that it would be a shame for this to be the one and only chance we have to see what they can make together, in or out of the studio.
If you love melodic Americana and have been searching for something to spice up your seasonal playlist this May, you should consider Shadows In The Shallows required listening. Gold Light and Snakemusk have yet to receive much attention from the mainstream music media, but I think that’s going to change after their rookie release under a collaborative moniker gets into regular rotation on smart indie radio stations from one side of the country to the next. I’m eager to hear what they do together next, because if it’s anything like what they’ve already accomplished here, they’re going to have a tough time remaining in the darkness of their underground scene for much longer.