Michael Shanks – Space Songs (2020)

Michael Shanks had us indulging in our dark sides with the funky ‘Creature of the Night’. Now he is taking us on an interstellar journey with the three-track EP Space Songs. Using a psychedelic and humour-filled soundscape, he journeys into the weirdest parts of the universe to put a smile on your face.

The EP imagines humans travelling far into the galaxy and doing what only silly humans would: party, pillage and fantasise about what isn’t real. As you set out on the cosmic journey, you will do so with a smile on your face. When you get back, you might just have a touch more Earthly wisdom.

The EP opens with ‘Mermaids of Europa’ which offers both a quest for knowledge and the idea of mermaids on Jupiter’s moon. The melody of the track offers a classic psychedelic rock flow to it with a hint of early David Bowie. Shanks’ vocals have a cheeky vibe to them as he works through the exploration of the lyrics. This combines with the electric guitar riffs for a soaring and fun song that grabs your senses and sends them into the cosmos. You can easily sit back and let the music wash over you and draw you into the depths.

‘Different Planets’ offers a completely different soundscape to the opening track. There is a rockier tone to the melody that makes you think more of 80s rocks than psychedelia. The funky groove of the lyrics tells a lighthearted story of falling in love. There is a cosmic edge to the story as the couple are from different planets. The female vocals on the chorus add a little something to the single that makes it a lot of fun to listen to. The guitar lines throughout the track are artful and sear their way through your brain.

The EP ends with ‘Real Enough’ which takes everything down a notch for an almost folk style opening. Co-written with Abøn, their melded vocals create a layered track offering the different dimensions of life. There are haunting and melancholic tones that bring the downs of life to light while the higher melodic levels offer better days. This is an easy song to listen to as you float to the flow of the performance. The folky edge to the melody brings a grounded sense to the song which is a step away from the cosmic vibes of the other two on the EP.

Michael Shanks combines humour, psychedelia and rock for a cosmic journey through the universe in the EP Space Songs. The three tracks of the EP each touch on a different subject with a different melodic style. This EP is a showcase of Shanks’ versatility while offering a lighthearted listening experience.

Find out more about Michael Shanks on his website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Spotify.

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