Premiere! Stream the Stunning Intensity of Shadow Work’s Sublime ‘IMAGO EP’
By Nathan Leigh
July 31, 2023
It’s rare when an act grabs you like Shadow Work. The Colorado indie band’s sound hits the sweet spot between atmospheric depth and emotional immediacy. The swirling guitars and pulsating rhythm section beneath vocalist Rafael Nava’s plaintive rasp that drove lead single “Something Trivial” made it one of this year’s absolute highlights. Their sophomore IMAGO EP takes the band’s mercurial sound and leaves no corner unexplored.
The album boldly opens with the haunting minimalist near-instrumental “Fever Dream,” which teases out an evocative coda before washing away. The band has a knack for saving their explosive moments for when it counts. When the drums kick in full, when the distortion cuts through, when Nava’s voice pushes to where it almost breaks, you know they really mean it. There’s a yearning throughout the EP that asks questions without ever answering them. Their take on “Somebody To Love” pushes the classic track in such extremes, it might as well be an original. Nava’s confident performance utterly transforms the song, the band acting as one finely-tuned machine as they lead into EP standout “Inertia.”
Shadow Work’s songs maintain an almost impossible depth of sound. The interplay between elements is impressive throughout, with each member having an almost uncanny sense of when to pull back and when to take focus. As the record closes out with the sublime “Something Trivial,” the leaves an indelible mark. This is one EP you’re going to want to have on repeat for a minute.
Nava says of the new EP: “IMAGO is a collection of songs that were meticulously crafted amid a hectic period of uncertainty and hardship. The songs elaborate on a set of themes that originated in our debut EP, Robben Island, giving them new life within a fresh soundscape. Among these themes are the contemplation of self-worth, spiritual trials, and the self-reckoning that signals psychological growth. IMAGO symbolizes a convergence of personal experience — acting as a time capsule from a period of painful transcendence.”
Follow Shadow Work on socials @shadow_work_official for more and upcoming tour dates.
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