“Shadow” by Seaker is a masterpiece of vocal arrangement, performance, and production. The first 30 seconds may sound like another melancholy piano ballad, but this song is an absolute odyssey. Characterized by soaring, intersecting, euphoric harmonies, “Shadow” builds an atmosphere into which the listener can disappear.

The first verse utilizes just the piano and voice, both saturated with reverb and echo. This simple yet beautiful technique sets the mood for the rest of the song, as the lyrics stand out against the uncomplicated background. The chorus glides in with a wash of harmonies, and the melody dramatically escalates. The singer chimes, “Oh, you got me here, you got me locked up in a cage / Oh, but I’m so blind that I can’t even see a way out,” heightening the air of desperation and distress. Different melodies swirl overtop the dominant one, which repeats again with an even more powerful, chesty vocal delivery. Every aspect of this chorus is so perfectly arranged and executed that it’s hard to encapsulate the beauty of it.

The second verse is brief but lovely. It’s much the same as the first one, but this time with a few vocal runs. The chorus returns with at least double the vocal layering. Different notes, words, and tones crowd the sound and create this emotionally gratifying chaos. At some moments the vocals are covered, and at others they’re open. At some moments they all sing the same words and at others, the lyrics are almost indiscernible–but in the best way.

The bridge is easily the section that most showcases the singer’s prowess. Her tone and control become evident as she sings the same few runs at various dynamics and placements. She’s able to keep interest in this section using only the intricacies of her own voice.

“Shadow” is a prime example of a song that sounds so well-thought-out and meticulous that you can let yourself surrender to it fully. Its beauty goes without saying and can be enjoyed without too much unnecessary analysis. If you’ve been looking for a song to cry to lately, look no further.

Written by Alyce Lindberg





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