Russell Hogg – Shadows
Russell Hogg overwhelms the senses with glorious new single.
Russell Hogg has spent a decade plying his trade on the Irish Independent scene. Whether it be wowing the revelers at Electric picnic or nurturing Irish talent at the many open mic nights he organises, there is very little this seasoned musician hasn’t done.
He has a mightily impressive voice to go with his accomplished guitar playing, and his intense performances of songs like ‘Devil in the Girl’ have earned him much praise over the years. He is also a man who knows the ins and outs of sound, being a talented engineer.
Russell now looks to combine these considerable talents into a new and expansive project, starting with his mesmerising new single ‘Shadows’.
The track starts with a lone note blinking to life and a dark piano progression that welcomes us to a barren and desolate landscape. Russell’s voice enters the fray like a distant light piercing through the despondency. He acts as our guide to lead us through the dystopia that surrounds us and describes this hopeless scene with a focussed intensity.
This foreboding drone of this barren, almost omnipotent, wasteland is drawn out to an excruciating degree. The rising dread claws at our necks as the playing hardens. Suddenly, the clouds give way. A glistening burst of auditory zest finds the listener. The intensity is inverted and the darkness is vaporised by glorious light.
Russell calls out to us again, describing the revelation we are experiencing and beckoning us to follow him. “I’m calling you home”. The piece then peaks with a transcendent and explosive held note that brings proceedings to a fevered crescendo of heightened emotions. We are left revitalised and drained by what has taken place and, as the song fizzes to a close, one is compelled to reflect on a transformative experience shared between the composer and the listener.
From the mastery in building tension, the sparsity of the lyrics, and the eventual release of joyous energy, ‘Shadows’ is a fabulous exercise in world-building. By the time Hogg launches into a breath-taking 30 second held note, all evidence of the world we know is gone. We have been totally transported to this soundscape that Russell Hogg has so expertly created for us.
The song deals with feelings of wild solitude and was recorded and produced solely by the artist himself. “The lyrics are open to interpretation,” says Russell, “It’s a mood piece that I’ve been wanting to write for a long time. There’s a cinematic feel to Shadows and I hope to continue in that direction with my music”.
One can only hope that Russell Hogg continues to create these vivid, intriguing new worlds. Wherever he takes us next, it’s sure to be an extraordinary journey.