Self-titled debut CD with ShapeShiftingAliens
ShapeShiftingAliens is the quirky Swedish duo, consisting of J.P Cléve on vocals and multi-instrumentalist Niklas Rundquist, also known under the moniker Brainshadow. After more than a decade of work, they have created this critically acclaimed album, accompanied by a list of artistic and eccentric videos. The duo has released the singles “Stay”, “Showing My Face”, “Fade Away” and “Shadows”, the latter with Nolan Cook from The Residents. As The Record Stache notes “This album is bound to appeal to anyone with a penchant for David Bowie, Trent Reznor or Brian Eno, with standout single-worthy tracks including ‘Fade Away’, ‘Showing My Face’, ‘Just a Boy’, ‘Shadows’…” As Boston Bastard Brigade writes, the duo “brings forth a spacey vibe within a meadow filled with beautiful melodies and visually-powerful lyrics…” For this magazine, Niklas Rundquist has created a playlist, with a few favourite tracks, as well as selected songs by ShapeShiftingAliens and Brainshadow.
The Swindonian‘s excellent review of the new CD includes some interesting statements: “For every New Romantic ghost of the past that floats through the proceedings, there is an equal number of forward-thinking innovations…” Moreover: “Not only does the band contemplate the future lyrically, it is the sound of someone building that future musically. It may be easy to see where they come from in terms of influences but where they are going is a much more fascinating proposal. Stick out your electronic thumb and catch a ride, who knows where it will take you.”
Dancing About Architecture wrote a great review with the same standpoint, stating that: “And where it took them, or at least one possible future anyway, is a strange, hallucinogenic, halogen lit, alternative dance infused future; a juxtaposition of clinical computerisation and jagged industrial edges, of smooth and soulful late night club vibes and shimmering, glitchy grooves. Fade Away makes for the perfect calling card, driven, warped, intense, dark and infectious but that is only one aspect of the album to come. At the other end of the spectrum, Stay is a strange, musical theatre style sing-along, a mercurial mix of humanity and programming, of man and machine partying together, Shadows is a dystopian ballad and Love is a Battlefield a wonderful duet…”
Spill Magazine presents “Just A Boy”: “Set to a brilliant track, the new video we present today for ‘Just a Boy’ is brilliant, combining nostalgic perfection from the past with futuristic sci-fi imagery. It is a melding of time, a recollection of childhood fantasy and adult dreamery, seemingly reflecting on the timeline of one individual who has never quite grown up, yet has experienced failures and a distancing from his previous hopes and desires.” Moreover: “For all the music Sweden is known for producing over the past few decades, ShapeShiftingAliens certainly ranks at the top in terms of quality alternative electronic rock pop. They are undoubtedly masters of their craft – both sonically and visually. Absolute kudos to these vibrant imaginative Northerners.”
Full Blast Music writes that they create “a world that marries Salvador Dali with Blade Runner futurism all wrapped up in a steampunk aesthetic.” Moreover: “This album makes the eccentric accessible and allows the listener to experience electronic music in a whole different light. A unique album with a David Bowie vibe this music evokes memories of the seventies with a contemporary twist.”