"Look who just walked in...Speak of the Devil"
- The Shadow & Shines -
That gritty, sweet combination...it's what flows through this duo's music, writing, and sound. That balance between light and dark is a notion that is invariably played within The Shadow & Shines. What started as a spark between the two grew into an endeavor to explore music together.
Formed in 2017, The Shadow & Shines are an indie Canadian band hailing from Toronto. The members include Hillary (vocalist, songwriter) and Shane Mackenzie (guitarist, bassist, & vocals). "Our mission is to celebrate and revitalize blues and folk with our own flavour. I couldn't pin us down to strictly one genre! No genre is off the table. Exploring and pushing some boundaries is very much what we're about. We want to create and have our songs unfold like short stories." - Hillary
The pair paint a picture of outlaws, voodoo and lovers' trysts. They aim to strike a balance between cheerful lyrics and sad melodies or dark lyrics with jaunty upbeat tunes. "We really like to play with that theme and the contrast keeps it interesting." - Shane. With all this in mind it may come as a surprise to some that the two have a refreshing sense of humour.
"We first met at an open mic night in a small bar, I was in a band with one of his much cuter friends at the time. It was love at first sight. I'd like to think we go together like Romeo and Juliet...no wait that didn't end well did it...umm like Bonnie and Cly-......like John Lennon and Yoko-...like soccer moms and yoga pants". - Hillary jokes
Keeping the creativity in both their hands, they jointly write songs. Their inspiration comes in many forms from personal struggles, places they've traveled, and old stories or eras that resonate with them. “I have this strange attraction to the South, witch trials and booze runners. Every time I start writing, somehow it leads to ‘Look who just walked in, speak of the devil’, literally.” - Hillary laughs.
Both have embraced music from a young age. Hillary singing gospel since childhood and Shane playing guitar in his teens; his tastes ranging from metal all the way to jazz. The two hone their craft as they go and pick up new instruments along the way. Hillary took up piano in her teens and Shane investing time in the bass in his early twenties. "There are so many cool instruments that I want to learn. Like a Jack of all Trades" - Shane muses, "But a master of none," - Hillary teases. "He'll see a $3000 double bass and say 'I want to learn that'", she laughs "but I'm the same I'll see a violin or banjo and be like 'Hmm I wonder how long it takes to learn one of those?'. Then I find out it's a long ass time. But I feel it is never too late to learn and it keeps your sound evolving."
It is an exciting opportunity for this duo, what will they turn out next, only time will tell...