I’ve been keeping my beady little eye (ear?) on Bradford/Leeds based Red Shakes (Sam Da Silva) from almost the beginning of his solo project. He might be Red Shakes but he ain’t gonna shake me off so easily now, so the poor lad just has to put up with a rambling review each time he releases a new track.
New single Look After Yourself is the fifth release (four singles and an EP) from the man, and what is consistent throughout the series of releases is a bright positive message, the relaxed, comfortable accessible style and a continual development in the music.
Quelle surprise, there’s been something going on in the world of late that has influenced everyone’s musical journey, but in customary style, Red Shakes focusses on the good in the experience, and to be fair he’s quite right to. We are all on a journey muddling our way through and life is all about helping your fellow traveller. So things might have been rubbish, might have been crammed full of disappointment, but now is the time for a little tenderness and support as we collectively continue to shake ourselves down.
With Look After Yourself, there’s a new complexity in the sound which may have developed since the beginning of the project because Red Shakes is now backed by a full band. I’m very much liking the wider sound in Look After Yourself; and within the track I kind of get a feel for late era Beatles, or full blown Oasis with its swirling harmony, and very rockish sensibility. There’s also a fantastic bit of rock strut in this tune; not in the slightest arrogant but I do love the confidence and Robbie Williams swagger in the song. Again, there’s a deft clean production on the records from Gafro Studios.
I also get a vibe that Red Shakes is getting a bit heavier (not physically haha) and rockier with almost each song, and it feels that perhaps there’s a slow return to that rock heart that is in Sam’s roots. I love an artist with a few different tempos and moods in their weaponry because it makes things much more interesting live.
Excitingly Red Shakes are playing their biggest gig at hometown Bradford’s Underground on release day (tonight Saturday), and the end of 2021 is seeing new levels for Red Shakes. 2022 is going to be a big one.