Finding a song that breaks the 10-minute mark nowadays is almost as rare as seeing a professional club DJ that spins exclusively vinyl sets. Not unheard of, but certainly not as common as it used to be. That was the first thing I noticed when I listened to the new 12-minute opus from &ME on Saved Records.
“Shadows” starts with slow, brooding beats, delicate piano work and an almost seedy noir vibe. Not bad so far, but with a running time double that of most releases today, could this work? I wasn’t sure. Then I closed my eyes. Dwayzo Lawrence’s vocals kick in; imperfect, haunting, human. Then the ride. The percussion. The sweeps solidified and slowly everything in the melancholy world of “Shadows” seemed to swirl into place, and I found myself getting caught up in the rhythm. Bottom line: If your crowd is flooded with fist-pumping punters at a festival with more sponsors than NASCAR, this cut probably won’t work. But drop this track into a set built around mood instead of energy, show it to an intelligent crowd looking for slow-burning substance and not just superficial thrills, then “Shadows” just might be the perfect fit.