After a decade of taking on different stages, from opening on folk-rock duo Indigo Girls' live jaunt to Justin Timberlake's Man of the Woods Tour, The Shadowboxers are no longer straddling the different sounds that have impacted their decade-spanning career.
The Atlanta-based R&B/pop trio — consisting of Scott Tyler, Matt Lipkins and Adam Hoffman — are known for their hypnotizing three-part harmonies previously helmed by Timberlake's artist development label Villa 40, which they signed to in 2017. But their recent move away from the label, as well as other outside influences, has paved a new way for The Shadowboxers, one that bridges the gap between the sounds they've worked on with the various artists who've helped them come up.
"Our career has been f—ing weird," the trio admitted in a press release. "But it's what makes us believe in this so much. We're a band that has the ability to bridge the gap between two completely different ends of the musical spectrum and two completely different fan bases."
Their new sound going into 2020 remarkably mixes harmony-driven melodies, R&B rhythms and pop production. Throw those elements all together in the recording studio, and a song like "Won't Ever Say Goodbye" comes out, which is premiering exclusively on Streets Talkin today (Jan. 22).
"We wrote this song three years ago. It lived in our heads and in our DropBox for a long time, but we kept coming back to it. The task of finally going into the studio to record it felt pretty daunting. Demo-itis is a real thing. But what we came out with really felt more honest and more uniquely 'us,'" The Shadowboxers tells Streets Talkin. "From a production standpoint, this song is really hard to classify. It somehow feels fast and slow at the same time. It exists in this sort of slinky in-between space which helps you feel the dichotomy of the intense resolve of the song combined with a kind of subconscious melancholy."
The track features a groovy guitar cutting into razor-sharp pop vocals, as the group sings about not letting go of a significant other, divine echoing harmonies cooing in the background. It's a coincidental feeling for the group to be singing about, considering they're letting go of their sonic past to create this new chapter for themselves where they exhibit more creative control.
That's partly thanks to Level, a new music distribution platform in partnership with Warner Music Group specifically for independent artists. "Won't Every Say Goodbye" is their inaugural release with Level, and it's the first blended taste of their debut, self-produced album that they're currently gearing up for.
"In thinking about who we are, what we do best and where we fit in today's musical landscape, we realized our goal was to create three-part-harmony driven pop music that's both sophisticated and digestible to the public," The Shadowboxers said in the release. "This new chapter really speaks to our versatility as a group, as well as the timelessness and undeniable appeal of genre-spanning music."
Listen to "Won't Ever Say Goodbye" below.