Check out a track-by-track breakdown of the four-track EP—”a taste of what’s to come” from the NYC synth-rock band in 2021
While NYC is once again wiiiiiiide open, it’s been, um, a while, and I have to admit I still don’t remember exactly how bars/restuarants/life work (I think there are QR codes involved??). However, if my pre-pre-pre-pre-pre-school-level Italian and general love of cocktail culture serves me right, I do know that an aperitif is one of the most important parts of the dining/drinking out experience, a bev designed to excite your senses, stimulate your appetite and prime your palate for what’s to come.
Or, far more relevantly on the music front, aperitif could also be defined as the killer sonic sampler—four tasty tunes in flight form—that BK band of synth-rockers Shiffley are serving up with their very fun four-track EP, which I’m absolutely pumped to premiere here!
“An Aperitif (a·peh·ruh·teef) is a drink served before the main course meant to whet the palette,” the band explained over email. “That is precisely what this EP is for Shiffley, a taste of what’s to come for listeners in 2021. We’re really excited to be sharing this with you, and can’t wait until you can feast your ears on the rest we have in store!”
Along with an advance listen (+ pronunciation lesson), the group was also kind enough to share the stories behind the songs, which range in theme from selfishness to relationship tipping points, dreams of eating the rich (or at least giving them wedgies) and the personal ties that not even time can totally erase.
APERITIF—TRACK BY TRACK:
“pots + pans”
“‘pots+pans’ describes the breaking point of a relationship, right on the edge of loving and hating someone. Will you go for the grand romantic gesture or just call it quits in a blind fury? It’s this turmoil that shapes the narrative of the song. ‘Banging on pots and pans’ can be seen as letting off steam in an attempt to think rationally.
Musically, the drum-and-bass groove drives the action underneath dreamy synth pads. Lush orchestral strings (recorded by the band) bookend each verse in a way that cinematically picks up where the lilting vocal melody leaves off. The arrangement all spins out in the end, collapsing under its own weight.”
“Whether in high school or adult life, we’ve always seen a huge gulf between the lives of the haves and those of the have-nots. ‘Ri¢h Kids’ represents a loathing of the song’s namesake, ultimately leading to a revolt against them. This song hits home for us as a bunch of music nerds back in the day and glorifies what we wish we had the gall to do: stuff those annoying cool rich kids into lockers.
The song leads with an earworm synth-pad hook and thins out to a drum-and-bass groove once the vocals hit. It all culminates in a Moog solo and slick vocoded outro celebrating the revolution.”
“‘Gimme’ is a self-criticism of selfishness – spun out into a caricature and made lighthearted by its soundtrack. The lyrics are from the perspective of someone who expects everything handed to him. He asks for his love to be given to him the way he wants it, but then is surprised he can’t find something that lasts.
Like much of our new music, this song is led by a drum-and-bass groove. The vocals are brash, weaving in and out of sync with the bass. Smooth rhythmic guitar and subtle synthesizer widen the arrangement into something quirky yet satisfying once the chorus hits.”
“‘drifting2’ is a reflection after a long journey with someone. Two people can certainly drift apart over time, but there are always those that we can’t help but gravitate towards, even if it isn’t in our best interest. In this track, we ask the question: why does this keep happening? And is it healthy to keep coming back?”
Aperitif is out on all platforms tomorrow for your ears’ in-house, at-bar, to-go (+ anywhere and everywhere else) enjoyment. Turn it up + drink it up—perhaps with your pinky up?!—before/during/after dinner, whatever feels right, and stay tuned for more sweet, sweet Shiffley coming your way soon.
(And plz don’t forget to tip your servers.)
Feature image provided by the band.