The single, “Shadow Of Your Heart” is a successful demonstration of the progression of Newborn as a band. With emblematic lyrically content, well-crafted vocals, and brilliant instrumentation, this is the gem of the band’s catalog thus far. Cathartically channeling their 90’s grunge predecessors, the beautiful bone-chilling arrangement takes in various genre influences to deliver something intrinsically their own. The band’s credentials as musicians have never been in question since their debut release, but even so, the seamless nature with which they gel is impressive. And while the driving rhythm section and guitars never fail to keep things interesting, it’s vocally where the key to Newborn’s captivating elements remain. Allen James’ powerful and gritty performances are without a doubt one of the band’s defining characteristics, in-between the powerful drumming by Dave Goldenberg and the driving basslines by Eric Weglicki.
It’s all too often that contemporary bands who fall under the rock or alternative music umbrella eschew the idea of simplicity, equating technical skill to the mastery of song craft and thus creating over saturated pieces that lack memorability.
With “Shadow Of Your Heart”, The Coney Island, Brooklyn-based band has achieved both, by embracing the merits of an easily digestible, infectiously arrangement and the unbridled technical power and absolute clarity in its intent and execution. Refining the sounds found on their previous releases, the trio maintain the thick, fuzzy punch of their guitars and intoxicating chord progressions.
The slow to mid-tempo “Shadow Of Your Heart” is atmospheric, it’s beefy, and more than a little radio friendly. The vocals pedal back and forth between the cleaner mid-range and gravely, higher register of Allen James, as the song transitions between its varying moods and tones.
Of significant importance are the guitar twangs and solos which give the track a resonating, soul-searching dynamic. Yet while Newborn nods to their share of indie and alternative reference points, the manner in which they merge a dense, wall-of-guitars sound with radio-friendly melodies sounds surprisingly fresh. Some of that comes from simply not being a carbon copy of anything.
The silk and thunder of “Shadow Of Your Heart” is thrilling in its own right, but there’s a surprising amount of space in the song, making superb use of the loud-quiet-loud approach by letting poignant moments linger longer.
At the same time, the slower moving parts have a spectral creep, which gives them a darker, moodier tone, allowing the song to rise from a gently grungy verse to a radio-hit-like chorus. This gives “Shadow Of Your Heart” a slightly more intangible, harder to define quality, which is also emotionally thirsty in lyrical content.
Newborn have truly come up trumps with this record. “Shadow Of Your Heart” is infinitely catchy and brings back a sound that they now hold the crown to, and rethinking it in a way that makes it accessible to the masses.
From its sad seducing lyrics, to its buoyant guitar splendor, and stellar vocals, this is an honest, compelling and obsessively alluring track. “Shadow Of Your Heart” certainly surges and sways with a reflective and thoughtful tone.