Formed at the start of 2019 in Sheffield, England, Shadow Smile began as a concept-based band. A series of vignettes began to air across social media platforms announcing the arrival of a ‘satanic cult’ which was coming to recruit new members and hold live ‘sermons’ (live performances by the band).
Eventually, the members were revealed to be Connor Mcgovern (Vocals), Ciaran Frost (Guitar) and Joe Fletcher (Drums) who soon recruited Ethan Goebel-Todd to be the permanent bass player.
the unholy trinity ep
This led to the release of ‘The Unholy Trinity’. A collection of three songs; ‘Digital God’, ‘Left Hand Path’ and ‘Beautiful Disaster’ which were heavily influenced by arena conquerors such as Avenged Sevenfold, Ghost and Alter Bridge and featured a heavy emphasis on guitar solos and classic rock influenced vocals.
On the strength of the first single ‘Digital God’, Shadow Smile were asked to open for bands such as Skid Row, The Quireboys and more.
As 2020 came around, Shadow Smile were scheduled to undertake their first UK tour but COVID-19 Restrictions came into play and forced cancellation of all but a few dates. This led to a big re-think by the band with regards to the type of band they wanted to be perceived as and how they wanted to release music.
During the UK’s Lockdown, Shadow Smile kept momentum running by performing a highly theatrical live-streamed concert via Facebook Live. Thousands of people tuned in, making it a huge success for the band as they entered a new era.
In September of 2020, Shadow Smile entered Treehouse Recording Studio which has hosted many bands including Bullet for my Valentine, While She Sleeps, Bring me the Horizon and many more. Production duties were taken on by Daniel Jeffery who was instrumental in bringing to life the vision that the band had been preparing over the course of the year.
Having decided that a departure was needed from the classic rock influence of the first EP (as they felt they had “far more to offer than being just another NWOCR band”), Shadow Smile decided to make a 180 degree turn into a more modern sound incorporating electronic elements, a harsher vocal sound and more aggressive instrumentals to bring our a more modern side of the band while keeping the huge choruses which had by now become a trademark.
the year of shadow smile
The first single from these sessions ‘Marionette’ takes lyrical inspiration from current events instead of fictional cults. “Real life right now is far scarier than anything we could come up with so our music, for the time being, is going to reflect our reality”. This is reflected in the contemporary, violent sounding music that accompanies the lyrics as well as the sinister, politically motivated music video.
This single was followed up in March by ‘Join Us’, Shadow Smile’s most ambitious work to date which bridges the gap between all of the styles that the band have performed while issuing a lyrical commentary on the hidden agendas of everyone from cults, religions and political movements to abusive partners and employers.
2021 promises to be the band’s most successful year yet. Whether or not touring can happen, there is a LOT to come from Shadow Smile.