Craig Nichols and Nick Littlemore unveil their collaboration White Shadows

White Shadows is the brainchild side project of Craig Nichols and Nick Littlemore. Out of respect to their previous works I have written into this article as much of their works possible. The reason why I’ve done this is because the review is about to get a bit dark and some not very nice things are said.

So at least this way you can have fun while I get down and dirty. Some might be obvious like a punch in the face and others might be more subtle like a punch in the face by a slightly weaker guy, but if you manage to find them all please send a self addressed envelope to Happy HQ and they’ll put it in the bin. Life is not like Saturday morning television when you were a child. Grow up.

White Shadows

The Vines frontman Craig Nichols and electro music icon Nick Littlemore have come together for White Shadows.

Introducing White Shadows as anything other than Nick Littlemore ft Craig Nichols would be doing the listener a disservice. The last thing we’d want is to make you think that what you’re about to listen to is equal parts Craig (The Vines, wailing, distortion, chaos), and Nick (Pnau and Empire Of The Sun), dreamscapes, moonbeams, stardust, because sadly that’s not what is on offer. If this track was a literal embrace by the two musicians involved I fear we would have lost a great Australian rock n’ roll icon in Craig Nichols as he tragically was choked to death by the smothering tuck shop arms of Littlemore.

This isn’t to say that the track is bad. Please don’t take me the wrong way, it’s a great pop track but I just feel that a combination such as this could provide a much more grand result. Musically it feels that Craig’s involvement is kinda superfluous. Sure he might have brought the melody and the chord arrangement into the studio but once it goes through the Littlemore production treatment it’s hard to feel you’re anywhere else other than in a Littlemore song.

The best part of the song is the opening 30 second string arrangement. On first listen you instantly think “Great! Craig singing over a string arrangement, well played Littlemore, I can’t wait for nearly 5 minutes of this”. And then they fuck it off, replace it with what I can only describe as Craig Nichols doing Tame Impala karaoke on the moon. And they may as well be on the moon because trying to find a tangible connection is hard.

Craig’s lyrics are drawled together (no, don’t get excited, not in a Vines way) and pessimistic, very much contrasting the sonic accompaniment. The overly lush production and allusions to but no actual organic sounds anywhere can make you feel like you’re Walking On A Dream. A cute hook and some vibey production isn’t enough to satisfy my musical intellect yet in this case my music intellect is such that I know that this will work for some. Might be a lot. Maybe there’s a few people out there that haven’t heard Empire of the Sun yet and will view this project as really Highly Evolved.

So here we are, White Shadows. If this is single number one and there is an album in the works I very much look forward to hearing how the relationship develops over a 40 minute record because in this bite sized tasting the meal is too sweet with the marshmallow gooeyness of Littlemore and not enough earthy grit and power of the solitary Nichols.