Alpha Shallows – Set the Fires

Alpha Shallows

When the holiday season comes around, you expect all the music you hear to be full of joy and good will. Radio stations are blasting old favorites like “Jingle Bells” and “Deck the Halls,” while hundreds of artists are recording new versions of said favorites. Holiday tracks are always fun, but they’re too obvious. So what if a group decided to release music the total opposite this month? The answer lies with “Set the Fires,” an EP by Alpha Shallows released on December 11th. 

Originating from Leeds and Wakefield, Alpha Shallows is an indie rock band that started up last year in March. This quartet’s sound is powerful, dark, and somewhat somber, resulting from the blend of the members’ backgrounds. Vocalist Craig “Ken” Walker and guitarist Paul “Joicey” Joice wrote songs together for several years, fusing their talents with bassist Gary Hargreaves and drummer Ben Hewitt’s punk and metal sounds respectively. 

Together, one of their greatest abilities is how they can quickly change their tempo and overall sound from song to song. “Temper” has a slow, drawn-out feel to it while “Set the Fires” holds a rushing, livid tone. “Solace” slows down slightly, but holds a defeated, yet somehow purposeful voice, warning the listeners to live fully before time is up.  Finally, “Flatline” starts out slow and bitter before switching in and out of an urgent, metal-like blast. All four tracks are definitely not what you would expect around this time of year, but it’s difficult to not enjoy them. The songs speak to you, proclaiming the truth that life will end someday, so enjoy it before you burn away. 

These songs are incredible and even if it is the holiday season, I believe you should give this EP a chance. I’ve always thought the joyful, thankful, and giving attitudes we have this time of the year should be our attitudes year-round. With that belief, Alpha Shallows’ EP helps you remember that time is short and bitterness will only lead to a wasted life. Try their songs out when you can and listen for the unexpected motivation within.

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