Jeff Shadows & Low Key Trampoline – Slow Motion Spring – EP Review
Well now, what DO we have here?
This is something special, that much I can tell ya – I’m really liking what I hear on this upcoming EP from the collaborative duo of Jeff Shadows & Low Key Trampoline – this works brilliantly in every regard. Jeff is new to us here…and of course I headed straight over to his pages to see what else I could find, and as it turns out, this ready & willing collaborator has been crushing it with extraordinary music for at least six years or so. Believe me when I say, I’m absolutely stoked to have had this introduction…not only do I love what I hear on this shiny new EP that’s being released on April 16th, but I’ve literally found a wealth of music released online by Jeff that has been awesome to experience & I already can’t wait to hear more. As for Low Key Trampoline – the history looks like it’s shorter, but the music is definitely out there; from what I can tell, this Electro/Jazz/Post-Rock project has been rockin’ through the pandemic-era so far, but plenty of tunes out there & available online already. As for who is behind the music of Low Key Trampoline – we SEE you brother-man – we know there’s a highly capable artist at the controls.
So while I’ll admit, I don’t know who exactly does what…I mean, I don’t need ALL the nitty gritty details, I just need to know what sounds really, really good right – isn’t that why you’re all here reading this? Well folks, believe me when I tell ya, this is certainly that – I love every single track on the Slow Motion Spring EP – at less than ten minutes in length with four tracks total…I ain’t gonna lie to ya, there’s no WAY I could possibly get enough of this collaboration in just this one dose – fingers crossed it continues! All that being said…given that this IS all I’ve got for now, you better believe that I’ve pretty much worn grooves into these digital tunes from how much I’ve been spinning them. You kidding me? Listening to the smooth groove they launch into on “Morning Breeze” as the record begins, is just about as enticing as music can potentially BE if you were to ask me. It’s just stunningly well assembled & structured, straight UP…there’s no two ways about it really…it’s like they’ve combined The Beta Band with Jose Gonzalez and then said, “go forth and do Jazz-Electro fusion” – and this is the genius that came out! I’m honestly blown away…which in itself is impressive, because it’s not as if “Morning Breeze” necessarily has a ramped-up energy to it to get us excited in that sense, but in just about every other conceivable way you can think of, it makes you wanna stand up and cheer. On an independent level, you might find the closest comparison you could come to would probably be Paul The Trombonist out there…and in the ol’ mainstream, you could certainly make arguments for comparisons to acts like Four Tet or Prefuse 73. You can compare it to anything you’d like to, or consider it to be completely new for all I truly care folks – now that I’ve laid my ears upon the golden gems of Slow Motion Spring, I’m never giving this EP up. I would probably be hard-pressed to find music that’s more suited to my own personal palette when it comes right down to it – “Morning Breeze” felt like connecting to a record I’ll never stop spinning, 100%. There’s magic in the wind, and “Morning Breeze” immediately captures some for us all to share…it’s about as natural & fluid as a moment in time can be, laced with invitational sound from the every angle.
Like…look…if you’re going to pin me down to the mat, I’d readily tell ya that a track like “Morning Breeze” has the edge over “Infinite April” with respect to my own personal taste – but if you think that makes this track any less of the A-side it is, you’re straight crazy. Just so we’re crystal clear here – I like so many of you fantastic people out there, and a whole lot of the music y’all make as well – but if I’m being completely real with ya, direct, and honest – I’d listen to this ONE song from Jeff Shadows and Low Key Trampoline more willingly than I would to the vast majority of records that are currently out there. So you feel me? Just because I’d go down swinging & swearing that the more delicate opening track appealed to me a fraction more, does not at all mean I didn’t enjoy this second cut nearly as much – cause I did, and I still do. For real – if you’re not somehow feeling this groove by the ninety second mark, PLEASE CHECK YOUR PULSE, because you are quite likely among the living dead. There’s Funk, there’s flair, there’s finesse…there’s a freakin’ fantastic mix on the production of this track that just makes you wanna shout F YEAH – “Infinite April” is loaded with an uplifting spirit to the entire vibe that is playfully designed to get your soul smilin’ y’all. You get that classic “1, 2…1, 2, 3, 4” count-in and it becomes a truly “need I say more?” scenario as they launch into the sweet bass-line grooves & stellar keys leading the way with the snazzy beat they’ve got…without another word, these two dudes conquer.
“Walk To The Sunset” felt like a great combination of what we get out of our main takeaways in both the first two tunes, creating a hybrid that’s got highly sincere melody to it, and a fully refreshing vibe. I’m telling ya…by the time the beat kicks in around the twenty-five second mark, and the main guitar hook is revealed…you cannot help but be dazzled by the incredible amount of genuinely charming sound now flowing straight outta your speakers surrounding you. Something really sensational about this third track…a bit hard to put it into words, but I suppose the closest thing I can think of is to say it sounds like it borrows brilliantly from the olden days of music’s earliest days & the purity you’d find in the melodies of court minstrels, and shines the whole thing up in a spectacularly relevant way that’s impeccably designed for the right here & now. This entire EP is without question one of the easiest to like or love that you’re gonna hear – and it’s vibrant & lively ideas like this that have such a depth in the personality & upbeat demeanor to its aura that you can’t help but feel it flow right through you as it plays. Really, really well played boys! What Jeff Shadows and Low Key Trampoline have created is pure audio enjoyment all throughout this collaborative EP they’ve got here, and the relentlessly addictive sound & radiant energy it’ll supply ya with…I mean…I’ve laid it all out there for ya folks, they’ve got it all goin’ on & more – “Walk To The Sunset” is every bit as good & great as any of the tracks you’ll find on this whole record. Super friendly, inviting, quaint, chilled-out & mellow, while still having that inspired spark of lively sound running rampant through the spirit of this instrumental tune…c’mon y’all, this is gorgeous.
I can only imagine how devastating a world without a repeat button would be. Can you even begin to think of just how freakin’ SAD I would be if I only got to experience this EP the one time? I wouldn’t recover…that’s just not how I’m built…I find music like what these two masterminds are doing, and it becomes an inherent part of the soundtrack of my LIFE…not just for the moment, but for forever. They wrap this up with one last exquisite deep dive into “Back To Earth” and give this final experience a down-to-earth, grounded melody that heads straight for the heartstrings. I think you have to really admire the restraint they’ve shown us throughout this whole record and the songs they’ve created; the temptation for solo artists & bands of few is quite often to try & do it all inside of every opportunity – but when you really know what you’re doing and you’ve got something special at the core of it all, you know much better, just like these two do. You know to give the song everything it needs and not an ounce more or less…and as a result, that’s the reality of what you’re listening to when you put on the Slow Motion Spring EP – a perfect set of four tracks that equal one massively moving & memorable experience that everyone & their dog will want to repeat for days & days on end. Like…the record’s not even OUT yet…and to admit how many times I’ve really listened to this less-than ten-minute EP would fully prove to you all that Slow Motion Spring will have absolutely no issues whatsoever holding up over time. A flawless set is a flawless set…and when you hear one, you know it; I wouldn’t change a single solitary second of what I’ve heard in this collaborative effort, and I hear every reason to hope they continue making more music together. Music doesn’t have to be overtly complex to make an impact on the hearts & minds that listen…it just needs to be sincere, passionate, and sound like the artists creating it genuinely cared about every ticking second we hear – and from the minute you push play on “Morning Breeze” to the final moments of “Back To Earth” – your ears will tell you these two dudes were fully invested in making this EP come out every bit as excellent as it ended up becoming. What makes it all evermore impressive is how naturally engaging everything is…Slow Motion Spring is subtle & serene, and flows as fluidly as water gently down the stream – I guarantee you’ll be spinning this all year long.
Listen to more music by Jeff Shadows at Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/artist/7zLmMFaagkxhVrJISI5Ata
Listen to more music by Low Key Trampoline at Bandcamp here: https://lowkeytrampoline.bandcamp.com
Join the thousands of bands & artists reviewed at sleepingbagstudios by clicking here!