Manchester’s Claire Brentnall and Richard Knox are the pair that form dark-pop duo, Shield Patterns.
Since their inception in 2012, Shield Patterns have evolved from a solo endeavour to fully realised duo. Their music compromises spacious soundcapes, scattered with trembling piano phrases, skittering beats and waves of warm keys, all shaped into menacing dark-pop songs by Brentnall’s bewitching vocals.
The pair have already caught the ear of alt-J and Dutch Uncles, both of whom have provided remixes of their first singles.
‘Contour Lines’ is Shield Patterns’ debut album. Each track is laden with the kind of dark atmospherics most groups take years to unearth. Subby bass-lines, and ambient passages brood as much as they shimmer. Lines between aesthetic and content are blurred, so that singer and song are intertwined.
The video for single ‘Dust Hung Heavy’ allows the listener to immerse themselves into the world of Shield Patterns and find appreciation for their minimalistic, ghostly vibes, seamlessly synced with Brentnall’s fragile yet powerful voice. Check it out here:
What’s remarkable about Contour Lines is how adept the band are at contracting their landscapes as well as expanding upon them. In the largely instrumental ‘Present State’, abrasive electronics cast a claustrophobic shadow across the listener before releasing their grip in subsequent tracks. ‘WeYouMe’ reinstates the album’s meditative pace, as the singer reflects against a ghostly backdrop sprinkled with reverb whilst, elsewhere, layered clarinets compete with discordant drones in ‘Charon’. Each of the album’s elements is laid down with the precision of an architect but delivered with the grace of a dancer. And like any good art, repeated rotations reveal different facets. The devil is in the detail, if you wait for it.
Shield Patterns are set to tour the UK this November.
Find tour dates and venues here http://www.shieldpatterns.com/tour.html
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/ShieldPatterns
Twitter – https://twitter.com/shieldpatterns
Soundcloud – http://www.soundcloud.com/shieldpatterns