Southern Shores
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Southern Shores

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada | INDIE

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada | INDIE
Band EDM Pop




"'Atlantic' EP Review"

Listening habits, personal experience and environment are just three aspects that can inspire/influence a musician’s work. But thanks to Halifax based Southern Shores, claims that environment can have a strong pull on what’s created now seems impossible. Alright, I may be slightly overegging the pudding just a little bit. But given the fact that Southern Shores hail from the snowy Atlantc shores of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. It’s a bit of a wonder as to how they manage to create an EP that gives the impression that they were raised in the tropical airs of the mediterranean, with nothing to do but have fun in the sun.

Signed to Cascine, an experimental pop label that’s home to the likes of Chad Valley and Shine 2009 all of which specialising in pop-with-a-tropical-twist. Their music is one akin to the aforementioned acts - a pop, dance and house tribrid drenched in a blissful, carefree reverbed ambience that everyone seems to be using lately. While nostalgia does come into play midly on tracks like ‘Tangier Winds’ and ‘Night is Young’; both of which give off an 80s vibe as a result of the airy and reverbed female vocals; Atlantic EP is more focused on the dancefloor; making its listeners yearn for the sun and the wanderlust that summer can bring.

Opening track ‘Take Me Anywhere’ illustrates this beautifully with it’s hushed but stirring intro before bursting into a steel pan refrain tracks like ‘Grande Comore’ are similar. Atlantic EP doesn’t change the world and nor does it want to. It’s far too busy catching rays and urging you to join in this joyous equatorial party it’s created to bother with all that serious stuff, and if you know what’s good for you, you’ll do just that – join in. - The Line of Best Fit

"'Night is Young' Track Review on The Fader"

Southern Shores‘ “Night Is Young” reworks a Cathy Dennis vocal sample across a bedroom sea of pitched-down oohs and ohs that roll like a waterbed. The hardest part about describing the Berlin-via-Nova-Scotia duo’s upcoming Atlantic EP—out on Cascine July 12th—is avoiding the abuse of nautical references. But fact of the matter is, the ocean vibe is real. There’s something in the faux hand percussion that smells like sea salt, and a genuine little splash when the cymbal hits

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- The Fader

"'Atlantic' EP Review"

Southern Shores are the latest Balearic-leaning group with a release on Cascine, a label following in the footsteps of Swede counterparts Sincerely Yours and Service. Sonically, the Canadian duo mine the same brand of nostalgia-flecked ecstasy as Air France or even the Avalanches, but the their choice of samples and propulsive rhythms trade in the lightheaded focus of those groups for something clubbier.

The summer mood of their Atlantic EP debut is largely carried on waves of optimistic major chord shifts, but there's an introspective, thoughtful quality to the production that lends enough depth to reward repeat trips. "Tangier Winds", for example, samples a grab bag of a cappella vocals-- including 1990s R&B smoothies U-Mnyd-- each contributing a distinct sentiment to what eventually becomes a cluttered conversation. The lyrical snatches are just intangible enough to add a heavy feeling of romance to a bedrock of lush keys and drifting bass patterns. The resulting effect is a satisfying tangle of jammed frequencies.

"Night Is Young" plays similar sampling tricks, but here the clipped vocals lose themselves in more propulsive surroundings. Unlike the relatively stable dynamics of "Tangier Winds", the momentum shifts gears throughout, carrying more of a disco palette than anything else on the record. There's a fun and hedonistic Salsoul vibe to the track-- Shep Pettibone and Cathy Dennis are among the samples-- an idea that feels just distinct enough to work as a worthwhile homage exercise as well as a blissed-out summer dance track.

Pretty much everything on Atlantic exists in a seasonal haze-- nobody's going to mistake this for anything but a record of summer jams. That tight focus may seem limited in scope, but it helps yield the EP's concentrated burst of sensation. And, while the majority of recent sun-drenched music's been concerned with retelling half-remembered feelings from the past, Southern Shores escape that vacuum by investing in the moment at hand: As the opening track title "Take Me Anywhere" suggests, this is music that not only wants to soundtrack your vacation, it wants to be your vacation.
- Pitchfork Media Inc.

"'Tangier Winds' Track Review"

It makes almost too much sense for Southern Shores, a Balearic revival duo, to have emerged as summer begins to wind down. The group trades in the windblown, sand-swept pop of Swedes like Air France-- in fact, Cascine, the label that recently released Southern Shores' debut Atlantic EP, describes itself as "brothers-in-spirit" with the Swedish label Service, who are responsible for releases by bands like Studio and the Tough Alliance that are the clear touchstones for this sound. It's clear that Southern Shores are lovingly reverent of said music, but with "Tangier Winds" they've got a worthy entry into the canon.

The track, like a lot of great songs of this ilk, is wistful and yearning. Over a bed of lush, rippling synths, the duo creates a dialog between vocal samples, but the success of the song lies in the trick that the conversation is just indecipherable. Echoes of words float through like hazy memories just out of reach, not unlike how manipulated voices haunt dubstep tracks. But the samples are pulled from when the vocal was at its climax, and in the context of beachside pop, and backed by an insistent but hushed house beat, the overall feeling is one of optimistic, if not therapeutic, longing. The effect is unique; a triangulation of sorts of the intermingling sounds of Swedish indie pop and dance music. Naturally, that means it's the perfect soundtrack to play summer out. - Pitchfork Media Inc.

"'Bonfire' Track Review"

Nova Scotia’s Southern Shores recently released the ‘Atlantic’ EP but this is a track they missed off of that record. ‘Bonfire’, accompanied by footage of erupting volcanoes and ocean spray courtesy of Jordan Beard, is soft and tropical; a beachside lullaby sung under dusky orange skies. If a track like this can be left to languish in no man’s land then the rest of Southern Shores arsenal must be very strong indeed.
- ABEANO Music

"First On: Southern Shores"

Alright, did you enjoy that? It’s difficult not to – the heady, bombastic beats stolen straight from classic Ibiza, every change in pace and melody done with wide eyed, unabashed optimism. You could cite Washed Out as an influence if there was even a hint of his jaded, college drop-out haze, but this is clean and pure, a joyous celebration of clever beats and rhythms that positively bubble.

So who do you think made this season-defining, sample heavy EP? Instincts, as they always are with this kind of thing, are drawn towards the sundrenched provinces of Northern Spain, Barcelona feeling like a natural home, or maybe Scandinavia if not. But no, the duo that crafted these boundless beauties come from Halifax, Canada. And they were first discovered whilst in Berlin, Germany.


Even with the knowledge that it’s two bros from the Northern hemisphere who spend most of their time well away from any climes that might be considered warm, their sound is so close to being otherworldly that it barely even matters. It’s a horrible, horrible cliché, but this is music to absolutely lose yourself in, an all encompassing bubble that you simply do not want to leave. And if you did go and listen to Southern Shores before you read the rest of this piece - why on earth did you return?

Read more:
- This is Fake DIY

"Southern Shores Spotlight on The Recommender"

Southern Shores are finding themselves washed up on the beaches of many a music blog of recent, as we build up to their debut 6-track EP, Atlantic, which begins with the release of it’s first single, Night Is Young, that’s officially out today. It would be easy to join in with the often-generic editorial coverage and state that they’re the perfect soundtrack to your summer, but in all honesty, they would make you feel summery if you were camping in the depths of northern Russia in January, so warm and comforting is their marvellous music.

The first single is available as a free download below, handed out to us and everyone else from the excellent label Cascine, who often focus on a distinctive brand of experimental pop. They have links with the established Swedish label, Service, often harnessing their Scandinavian aesthetic with their selections, but Cascine are known to have one foot discovering in the US and the other in the UK, including the signature of some of The Recommender’s current favourites, in Selebrities and Chad Valley – the latter of which has just released one of the best EPs of 2011 himself.

Cascine’s new darlings, Southern Shores, are a duo from Halifax, Nova Scotia on the East Coast of Canada, that selected to feed their creativity with a brief spell living in Berlin, which is perhaps what’s handed them a kind of world fusion that used to be harnessed so well by The Transglobal Underground – a band with whom the Canadian’s share a warm, sample-heavy sound, minus Transglobal’s Asian ethnicity.

Ben Dalton and Jamie Townsend make a sound as expansive as the ocean itself, which will appeal to almost everyone, making it totally inoffensive, but more importantly allowing it to suit a variety of situations – managing to relax you wherever you are into state that would usually take a hammock tied to a palm tree. Their careful productions marry a style of Scandinavian electronic pop with steel drum synths, seeming like an expensive, quality cocktail – refreshingly ice cold, but fruity and delicate.

The debut EP, Atlantic, is due out on July 12th on Cascine and continues their signature soundscapes of voices and samples that seem like they’re balancing the electronic and the organic. Take Me Anywhere once again feels like flying, continuing their trademark ability to drift, with a slow start and echoing vocals. Their track names are just as much a part of their image too, which is continued on this EP with the tropical-sounding Antibo and Tangier Winds, both of which re-introduce the lightly-tapped, layered drums.

The first single off the EP, Night Is Young, washes the patient pace in a slow house music detergent. It’s perhaps the most reminiscent tune on the EP of label mate Chad Valley, harnessing an 80s pop influence and a 70s disco throb without any sense of irony. It still breaches the water for air at regular intervals, but is ultimately their least sensual track, aiming for your feet for the first time on the record.

When creating sensory music such as this it’s a difficult balance of rarely penetrating your conscious, yet still managing to resist the trap of being forgetful. It sticks with you like an emotion. It’s a skill they harnessed with earlier tracks, such as First Time, which has the kind of sound patterns that will remind you of Dreadzone‘s Little Britain. It’s sample heavy but is woven together like gossamer.

Seasonal music such as this – perfectly timed for a release in June and July – seems designed for it’s influences, which are heavily immersed in the islands of Hawaii, Grande Comore or any other tropical, equatorial paradise. However, what they’ve fully understood is that most of us don’t actually exist in these places – most of us only ever dream of them. What they’ve produced is in fact an EP that’s not so much for soundtracking an actual experience, but instead harnesses the ability to transport your imagination there and that’s surely suitable not just any time, but all the time. (MB) - Ther Recommender


Southern Shores - Bonfire (Track Release, 2011, Cascine)
Southern Shores - Atlantic (EP, 2011, Cascine)



Equal parts meticulous production, lush melodies and affecting found samples Southern Shores is a sonic experiment in induced nostalgia. Comprised of friends Ben Dalton and Jamie Townsend, Southern Shores was conceived in the chilly autumn of 2009 but required a year's worth of patience and effort before disconnected ideas began to pleasurably coalesce. After spending last fall in Berlin developing the sounds, rhythms and textures that would come to define their aesthetic the duo signed to US label Cascine and released their first EP Atlantic in July. Forceful yet soothing, direct yet fleeting Southern Shores aims to conjure the best night of your life and help you dream about better nights yet to come.