Shadow Creek is a Houston, Texas-based Indie Alt/Electronic duo who first got together in 2019. Vocalist Sandy Williams and composer, lyricist and multi-instrumentalist Tony Preston worked to create a sound that was cinematic and also captured the feel of their many varied musical appetites. They spun together a retro New Wave vibe that mixes Dark Wave and Synth Pop into cool would-be horror flick themes.
In November of last year Shadow Creek released their debut album, “Playing With Fire” to Bandcamp and all major streaming services. The nine song collection introduces their avant garde Electro Goth sound. Throughout the record the duo explores numerous shady areas of the Dark Wave sound. Their songs combine sparse electronic and guitar instrumentation with theatrical female vocals. It’s movie music with a little bit of Robert Fripp and Siouxsie Sioux thrown in for good measure.
The record’s title song “Playing with Fire,” is an excellent example of the group’s adventurous mix of styles. At the heart of the track is a pulsing Berlin-style synth bass, playing a structured chord progression. Spinning around that foundation are wildly improvisational guitars, keys and percussion. It is an avant-garde and jazzy vibe as Sandy Williams riffs on the theme. We can imagine a scene from a 1980’s slasher flick. Just as something bad is about to happen to the star, Sandy she sings, “Tonight, I’m playing with fire.”
If “Playing With Fire” was the ominous prelude, then “Run” is the aftermath. Williams sings, “Run, run, run. There’s no place to hide.” Clearly our heroine has gotten herself into a dangerous situation. Once again a steady synth beats at the heart of the track. However the pace has now gotten more frantic, the improvisation more urgent. Then “Run” abruptly stops and the mood takes a dramatic turn.
The pulsating analog synths are replaced by the sound of an ambient organ on the track “Dirty Water.” Though the mood is lighter at first, things soon take a dark turn. The lyrics are cryptic, as though we just opened a movie script to a random page and started reading. But as the as storyline takes shape we realize that the ending of the previous song was abrupt for a deadly reason. The track eventually evolves into a guitar and synth jam. Preston plays some really nice and creative guitar parts that bring to mind some of Andy Summers’ (The Police) solo work.
Check out the entire “Playing With Fire” album below. You can also hear the track “Run” on the Deep Indie Dive playlist. Follow the links below to connect with Shadow Creek. Get on their socials and get in the know on all of the music they have planned.