Shofar have masterfully achieved a blissful balance between the heavy and the gentle. Running is a song that explodes into life with volume and weight and intensity, but that soon falls away to the more atmospheric and ambient layers – upon which the deeply poetic and self reflective lyricism unfolds in a subtle and calming sort of way. In between each vocal snippet, the style and swagger of a distorted leading guitar riff wreaks havoc with it’s manic energy and confidence. This, in contrast again with the surrounding riffs – the warmth of the accompanying instrumentation – creates a vastly dynamic and ever interesting few minutes of music and performance.
Running is the first track on a six-piece self-titled collection recently released by Shofar. It’s a powerful single and represents the sound of the band with appropriate levels of skill and personality. The chaotic softness of the synth riff seems to be almost that of an entirely different song when you consider the guitar sound, but it works, and the unusual, unpredictable nature of it underlines a deeply creative project that offers plenty for new listeners to obsess about.
The song’s story telling progresses throughout the recording, later turning to that self-reflective, considerate language that talks of deep thought and provokes a similar reaction in those who hear it. An inherent awareness of existence is continuously present, but there’s also an unwavering awareness of musicality and structure, of what works and what doesn’t, and this makes it a huge track. The sound is delicate and has depth but it’s also intense and loud and very easy to forget yourself to. The leading vocalist actually has a touch of Bowie to the tone, though it’s the later tracks on the project that highlight this more notably. Well worth exploring as the daunting darkness of winter draws closer.
Download the music via Bandcamp.