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With the arrival of their new EP, Things We Were Raised By, Shae District execute their return to the electronic release ring toting a freshly developed sonic aesthetic that veers in a direction distinctly different from that of their previous efforts. The shift in overall sound that is perceptible on Things We Were Raised By is as much a recommencement of Shae District’s musical production as it is a redefinition of artistic identity. And as a delve into the six-track showing evinces, Things We Were Raised By is cohesive collection of individual cuts that seamlessly fade into each other, to form one fluid whole.
The EP was led by debut single, “Semsilia,” a melodic introduction to the Things We Were Raised By soundscape. An undulating, rhythmic beat sustained by bass, “Semsilia” surfaced as a buoyant number that easily lent itself to listener head bobbing. “Semsilia” appears as the third of the six EP inclusions.
Slated to release in full May 31, Things We Were Raised By opens with the cinematic mellifluousness of the aptly titled beginning song, “Intro.” The sparkling tones that characterize the gossamer sound that permeates the EP are well represented on the succeeding track, “Tangerine,” which also happens to be the most vocally oriented cut on the EP aside from the EP’s finale, “Sword and the Stone.” Listeners who delight in multi-instrumental arrangements will alight upon the johnnycola-assisted “Blossom” as an emblem of Shae District’s acute ear for interweaving multiple musical elements.
“Things We Were Raised By is in homage to all of the people who’ve impacted our lives on our journey to get where we are now” said Shae District constituent, Andrew Parpart. “[The EP] is also a nod to the artists who continue to inspire us,” Parpart added, citing ODESZA, RÜFÜS DU SOL, Jai Wolf, ZHU, and Tycho as key influences.
The second half of Shae District, Debjit Das visualizes Things We Were Raised By as an electronic growing experience, particularly in the songwriting sense. “[The EP] is a transition from pure production and Doing [alone] to […] learning more about songwriting,” Das told Dancing Astronaut. Das specified closing cut, “Sword and the Stone” as the “first very personal song” to emerge from the duo’s studio.
It’s about loss and learning to live with loss, something that we both experienced deeply and on multiple occasions in 2018.
Things We Were Raised By follows Shae District’s 2017 outing alongside Jai Wolf.
Photo credit: Shae District/Facebook