If you haven’t heard of Shadowgraphs yet, that’s about to change. The pop-rock up-and-comers recently relocated to Portland from Charlotte, North Carolina, and they’ve already been generating some buzz around town.
And deservedly so — the group’s latest outing, last year’s “Another Time,” is an exquisite sampling of ‘60s-style sunshine pop, garage rock, and contemporary indie. Its 11 tracks recall the best aspects of guitar pop’s golden era, but are festooned with enough modern flourishes as to avoid sounding opportunistically retro.
The band’s new video for the song “Fell In Love” — a barely 2-minute power-pop grand slam, and one of several highlights from “Another Time” — features bassist Tyler Olson parading his new love interest around town: a massive scarecrow wearing a blue wig. Despite the inherent ridiculousness of its premise, the music video for “Fell In Love” is oddly touching. With its sun-kissed montage of prominent Portland locales, it’s bound to inspire the warm fuzzies in anyone who’s ever, well, fallen in love before.
We spoke with Shadowgraphs’ co-songwriter Charles Glade about his band’s relocation to Portland, his musical influences, the new video for “Fell In Love” and more.
Morgan Troper: I know you recently relocated to Portland from Charlotte, North Carolina. How does the music scene in both cities compare? Have you had a pretty easy time penetrating the scene here?
Charles Glade: Charlotte and Portland’s music scenes are pretty much incomparable in my opinion. Charlotte has a great tight-knit music community but the scene is very small and can feel claustrophobic at times. Portland’s scene is definitely bigger and there is a wider variety of music venues here.
I’ve also noticed that more people attend shows in Portland, whereas in Charlotte the crowds are pretty slim unless there is a big act coming through town. So, once you get to a point where you are bringing out a decent amount of people, it usually ends up being the same crowd and the same two venues in town.
In regards to “penetrating” the scene — I wouldn’t say its been easy for us. However, it hasn’t been terribly difficult either. We have definitely put a lot of work into booking shows and making connections, but that’s what you have to do to get your name out there. So far, our musical adventure here in Portland has been pretty awesome, though, and we are looking forward to what this year has to offer.
MT: This video looks very nice, and it also makes me feel sentimental. I also love how it starts really conceptually, but then kind of ends with no resolution. Like, Tyler quit the band because he fell in love, and that’s it. Is there something specific you’re trying to communicate with that?
CG: With [the video for] “Fell in Love,” we wanted to capture that honeymoon phase of a new relationship in a comical way: Where nothing else matters and all you want to do is spend every waking hour with your lover, and how that feeling can seem so new and unique but might be the third or fifth time for you. It’s really up to the viewer to imagine what happens in the end. He has a lover and that’s all that matters!
MT: Have you ever had a bandmate quit because they fell in love?
CG: No way. However, falling in love was the single biggest reason why the band ended up here in Portland. That’s a story for another time though!
MT: Shadowgraphs’ latest record, “Another Time,” is resoundingly sunny. As I’m sure you’ve realized, Portland is not a very sunny place, and I do think the weather plays a role in influencing the aesthetic of a lot of Pacific Northwest music. Do you ever feel like the “happiest” band on a local bill? Do you find that the lack of sun here has altered your aesthetic at all, or is it too soon to tell?
CG: I can definitely say our music is a little more poppy and sunshiny than most of the bands we’ve been on a bill with, but I hope that is a good thing. It may be too soon to tell, but I do know this grey weather is wearing on all of us. We are ready for the sunny summer weather that we fell in love with.
MT: I feel like the type of music you draw inspiration from - Nuggets-y and Paisley Underground stuff, The Kinks, The Zombies - kind of cycles back into fashion every few years. What is it about that type of music that you think is so timeless?
CG: I think it’s the pop sensibility. Those bands were pretty straightforward with their ideas but also great at being slightly psychedelic and weird. I think its refreshing to have that approach, where the lines are being blurred but not enough to scare anyone away.
“Another Time” is out now via Golden Brown.