Locals: Restless frontman Shane Natalie keeps things moving on Good Shade's debut
Shane Natalie, singer/guitarist for garage-pop outfit Good Shade, has a difficult time sitting still.
“If I grew up in this day and age I would have definitely been prescribed Ritalin or something to slow me down, and I'm glad I didn't because music was always that outlet,” said the musician, who joins his bandmates for a concert at Used Kids Records on Friday, April 10 (the show marks the long-in-the-works vinyl release of the group’s debut, which surfaced digitally in April 2014). “I'm the type of person who's always bobbing my leg or shuffling something in my hand or twiddling my thumbs. I feel like if I'm moving slowly I'm not doing things correctly.”
The music on Good Shade maintains a similar momentum. Most songs clock in right around two minutes, and the tempos move with bullet-train speed. Indeed, the only hint of a slowdown arrives near the close of “Shepherd’s Crook” (practically an epic with a runtime of 3:28), when the music pauses for two beats just past its midpoint, like a runner catching a quick breath before finishing with a sprint.
“It has to be fast or I’m bored,” said Natalie, who conceived Good Shade as a solo project after his former band, Tight Bros, ceased performing (former bandmate Evan Wolff, who co-fronts Pretty Pretty, assisted on the recording). “I have a hard time writing songs that are any longer than two-and-a-half minutes. I really like fast high hat and really straight-to-the-point songs that are fairly basic in structure.”
Things are far more complex lyrically, and the songs, which fall close to a 50-50 split between autobiographical and fictional, find Natalie struggling with everything from interpersonal relationships — “I fucked my friends over tonight,” he laments on the scrappy, surging “Dang” — to crises of spirituality.
“A lot of that is me feeling like maybe I’ve let down my folks by separating myself from [their religion], and the guilt of it, or navigating those feelings of guilt,” said Natalie, who was born in Springfield and raised Catholic by a mortgage banker father and a dental assistant mother. “I'm more of a spiritual person. I don't really like religion. It just wasn't for me.”
Reflective of this more personal nature, Natalie tends to bury his vocals beneath an avalanche of guitars and drums, wearing the music like a clattering, hook-laden suit of armor.
“I wanted to keep it musically light and lyrically heavy, but I also wanted people to have to read into the lyrics instead of having them out in the forefront,” said Natalie, who is already well into writing sessions for the next Good Shade album. “I've never considered myself a good lyricist or whatever, so a big part of this was forcing myself to let go and to not care so much about caring so much.”
Photo by Meghan Ralston
Used Kids Records
8 p.m. Friday, April 10
1980 N. High St., Campus
ALSO PLAYING: Sleep Fleet, Costanza