Only Shadows – We Go Further

Only Shadows

I am constantly amazed by how many musicians inhabit this world. Everywhere you look—from radio to television to the web—there are always plenty of artists and bands astounding audiences with their incredible music. This planet is overflowing with talent, especially in the music industry.

Even so, wherever there’s musical talent, competition closely follows. Musicians are constantly competing to become number one in their listeners’ hearts. Everyone has their own musical preferences, but if enough people enjoy a certain group, they might become legends. We’ve seen this with groups like The Beatles, Queen, and One Direction (I never said everyone enjoyed every legend). Groups that have played and enjoyed success for a while have an easier time competing, but what about those who are just starting to rise?

One way to answer this question lies with Only Shadows, a band that blends the indie and alternative rock genres, and their single, “We Go Further.” This quartet from the West Midlands is comprised of lead vocalist Nick Ashby and his fellow bandmates, Ben Riley, Paul Wechter, and Alex Moffitt. They came together in 2013 and have traveled down the long path to success ever since. Amazing Radio has called them “One of the UK’s brightest hopes for guitar music,” and radio show BBC Introducing said they are a part of “UK’s most exciting rising bands.” They have also worked and toured with other rising stars such as UK indie pop band Young Kato and Scottish synthpop group Prides, selling out their first headlining show at the Birmingham Rainbow. They have released several popular songs such as “Be Still” and “Many a Mountain,” and they plan to debut an EP this spring, which is being recorded with Westpoint Studios.

Looking at these credentials alone, the young band seems to be doing quite well, at least so far. However, as I said before, there are so many bands, even from the UK alone. Can Only Shadows hope to compete with them all?  Well, let’s look at their single, “We Go Further.”

Personally, I found the single intriguing. Heavy in guitar, it was energizing and it had a light attitude. Compared to other alternative rock tracks I’ve listened to lately, it felt much closer to what people would call “rock and roll.” The rhythm and beat alone kept my attention, but the lyrics were enjoyable as well. The song immediately opens with Ashby proclaiming, “We go further than we should tonight, tonight/We go out after sunshine.” Actually, proclaim is a great word for it. The lyrics don’t really tell a story, but rather they declare they will continue to move further through life. Even though they make some mistakes and stay out later than recommended, they keep pushing forward. It’s the kind of song that energizes you—it causes you push onward with them, doing all you can no matter what. I love songs with this kind of message and energy. They make me feel like I can do anything, even if I’m not good at something.

So can they compete? Obviously, there are people who like them already, and while I can’t speak for everyone, I think they have a good chance. I’ll admit this song wouldn’t make it into my top twenty favorites. I’ve heard this kind of song before, played better by other bands. However, I respect the song for what it is and enjoy it because of their innate potential. It declares the band will continue moving forward, doing all they can. I may not enjoy it as much as others, but Only Shadows will continue writing and performing music. Competing and becoming “legends” doesn’t matter to them. All they care about is how much they go further.

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