Shadows On Mercury is a Prog Rock studio project, based in West Yorkshire with Scott Owens, Charlie Bramald & Tim Lofthouse.
It all began during the Summer of 2020 whilst the world was in lockdown, prior to the formation of Scott’s current band, Ghost Of The Machine.
Unable to rehearse or play live, Scott began work in his home studio, writing and recording an album of demo tracks, that had been weaving their way around his head for months.
After laying down the guitar and bass tracks, basic synths and drum programming, he asked his good friend Tim, from The Lowells, if he would like to put the keyboards and synths down for the project. Tim was onboard immediately, and his ideas and keyboard wizardry carried these songs, to another level completely.
After a few months of fine tuning the tracks, Scott knew he needed a vocalist/lyricist to complete his vision for this project. Enter Charlie, lead singer, and Scott’s bandmate in Ghost Of The Machine. Charlie instantly gripped the direction Scott wanted to go with the music, and crafted stunning lyrics that brought both the music and concept of the project to life.
The two tracks, The Silence and The Flood, are the results. The plan is to release a few more songs throughout the year, but Scott’s main priority is getting the 2nd Ghost album completed.
Now, as most of you know, I’m not one for reviewing single tracks but the strength of these two songs, and the fact that they are from the core of one of my favourite new bands of recent years, made me change my mind for once…
Charlie had this to say about The Silence, “I wrote the lyrics to The Silence based around the idea that the human race is utterly complacent about the end of the world. Nobody wants to talk about it, think about it, deal with it… as a population we’re avoiding grappling with those big concepts and questions. It’s much more comfortable to keep our attentions trained on trivial and more immediate concerns. I imagined it staying that way right up to the point that the sky is falling in above us! No panic, just… silence. Will we get what we deserve?”
Wow, what a track, the music is a perfect accompaniment to Charlie’s meaningful lyrics, it’s a dark, brooding song full of a pensive and thoughtful quality. The vocals have a musing and contemplative touch and Tim’s elegant keys and synthesisers add a questioning feel. It’s totally different to what the guys deliver in Ghost Of The Machine, more an elegant rock vibe than the harder edge progressive rock of GOTM and the amazing interplay between Scott’s guitar and Tim’s keyboards that closes out the track has to be heard to be believed, an utter monster of a track!
“The Flood is a reflection on struggling to process the guilt that led to a heartbreak, infused with bitterness and the destructive imagery of water – a recurring theme in this EP.”, says Charlie, “This person is succumbing to the flood of negative emotions but clearly they have played their own part in what happened. Perhaps with a degree more self-acceptance they’ll be able to tread water, or even reach dry land.”
The Flood is almost balladesque in its feel, a heartfelt piece of music with a wistful and sombre touch. The floating, ethereal synths work perfectly in unison with Charlie’s passionate and ardent vocal delivery. Tim’s brilliant keyboards blend some Neo-prog with Scott’s expressive & profound guitar playing. It’s a beautiful track that took me back to the heydays of sumptuous and insightful songwriting and music that actually had meaning.
On the strength of these two tracks, Shadows On Mercury have a very bright future in front of them, this is music of the very highest quality and I cannot wait to hear more!
You can pre-save The Silence here ahead of it’s 13th January, 2023 release:
More information coming soon!