SHMNS: pronounced shah–muh-n; a person who acts as intermediary between the natural and supernatural worlds, using magic to cure illness, foretell the future, controls spiritual forces, etc.
Meet SHMNS – a Philly-based four piece indie band. Based on those seven words, one could reasonably expect “just another band.” But these shamans are here to act as the intermediary between listeners and an ultra-catchy mélange of reverby, headnodic indie rock, experimental sweeping synths, and curiously effected vocals.
And what’s more, they’re hooking listeners on a grand total of five tracks: their debut EP Somewhere Between Here And There is an intriguing first look into SHMNS as a band with immense potential. As a standalone EP, Somewhere Between Here And There will whet the earpetite of a broad spectrum of listeners – the opening track “OH! Hallelujah!” sounds like a blend of electrified Said the Whale featuring a Daft Punk vocal in the chorus with the driving dance beats classic to Minus The Bear. The second track “Secret Shores” opens with a cavernously reverberating harmony of guitars reminiscent of the The Xx and Explosions in the Sky. The diversity of sounds on the EP will undoubtedly lead to great anticipation of a full length work. However, as a release in its own Somewhere Between Here and There is incredibly thorough: one can see that this Philly four piece has worked tremendously hard to separate themselves from other groups of the same classification. Even for a short recording, a certain Big Lebowski element of rediscovery exists with each listen: something new, unnoticed, and even subliminal appears with repeated listening, something that reinforces that SHMNS are here for the divination of indie rock.
Pros: Catchiness. Especially in the vocals, synth, and guitar lines. Great bass tone, well complimented by tight, spontaneous, dance-oriented drum patterns. Retains for the power of head bobbing.
Cons: Leaves listeners wanting. SHMNS, hurry up with more already!