WL//WH Video of the Day: SHAD SHADOWS “Under Valium”

Video of the Day   Shad Shadows

London-based longstanding Italian duo of Luca Bandini (voice, synth, drum machines) and Alessandra Gismondi (synth, vocals), renowned for their 2009-born darkwave / post-punk main moniker Schonwald, have started since 2014 an experimental dark electronic side project called Shad Shadows, that digs into their love for film soundtracks and industrial dance sound of 80’s and 90’s.  After the debut full-length “Minor Blues /​/​/ DSK 011” in 2015 via New Orleans-based Disko Obscura label, the pair have released last November the sophomore album titled “Control”, soon also on vinyl, via Young & Cold Records, ‘a concept album about urban myths, a dystopian society drowned into vertigo dreams’ that displays once again all their distinctive and fervent musical talent.

The band have just shared the video clip for ‘Under Valium’, the most 90’s influenced dark electronic track of the LP.

Crispy, pulsing and bouncing ominous bassline combined with hard-hitting stabbing beats lead and fuel the mesmerizing dancefloor groove towards hypnotic, ghostly, disturbing soundscapes of buzzing and acidic synths, interspersed with breathtaking stop and go, culminating in soaring swells of dramatic and searing synths, whilst the eerie, sensual alluring vocals beautifully glide along in an apparent narcotic trance, albeit with a subtle feel of inner malaise underlying. 

A dark twisted tale full of conflict, dualism, and contrasts. The lyrics sound dreary, dreamy, and apathetic yet the meaning of the words are dramatic, worried, and yearning. A repetitive chant fixated, compelled, and obsessed with yesterday. Highly influenced by the questionable amount of Valium ingested and struggling with possibly taking more, his mind and body will not harmonize. Unable to find peace, he spirals down a, calm yet anxious, disoriented but aware, muddled albeit lucid, vortex of self-dissension.

In sync with its counterparts, the companion video is a disparate combination of black and white footage with an intense psychedelic hypnotic overlay. Morphing melting colors of orange, red, and blue compress and expand forming faces, crosses, shadows, and lips. Underneath a chic, outgoing duo flirt, tease and pose for the camera. Their beautiful smiles cloaked in black hoodies, scarves, and sunglasses, hide the intimacy of eye contact. The vibrant, pulsing, anomalous inferno a top oozes deep burning chemistry, the more likely a recurring reflection of yesterday’s ‘Under Valium.’

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