The Shikes Shake Things Up With Bold EP ‘Aggression’
Aptly-titled indeed. This isn’t an EP for the faint of heart. The Shikes make no apologies for being frank and honest. Their three-track EP ‘Aggression’ dropped on January 21, 2021. Join us as we take a deeper look into their musical universe.
The Shikes is actually the project of one man - David Wirth, a film composer, producer, writer, and indie folk artist based in Austin, Texas. In the artist’s own words:
“Aggression is a short little album, full of noise pop overtones, dreamy synthesizers, and intense stories. Themes include mold allergies, fear in the public education system, suicide prevention hotlines, and knifeplay. Actually, the knifeplay part isn't totally accurate, but I wish it were.”
Wirth’s playful, insatiably curious approach to music makes his career diverse and eclectic. He not only works on his own music but has scored films such as ‘The Mumbler’ as well as writing articles on the topic. He has also been a session musician for intense rock duo Sprightly Moans, for whom he recorded guitar and drums, as well as carrying out production projects spanning experimental ambient (Evil Gima) to IDM/Hip-hop (The Double Headed Seagulls). Alongside composing and producing, Wirth is a much-loved guitar teacher at his school, The School of Feedback Guitar.
Track Overview: ‘Single ‘Sit, Think, Make, Say, Do’
Beautiful synth meshes with melodic guitar and an indie-rock vocal with layers of backing vocal. The lyrics take pride of place, and the vocal delivery feels very intimate. There is a touch of early Radiohead in this. The song erupts into a very experimental soundscape using quirky touches of synth once more, in a beautiful climatic ending à la Portishead’s ‘The Rip’.
Wirth explains the meaning behind the track: “I have had experiences as a student where music teachers deliberately try to scare and put insane amounts of fear into me. These experiences messed me up. I have no idea why they would do that, or what compels certain people to deliberately fuck other people up. In this song, I really wanted to understand their perspective, their anger and frustration with teaching, their frustration with just being a music teacher, and how they have so much on their plates with large class sizes. This song is about emotional rape, and how it happens to everyone. It's fucked up. It's wrong. And it should stop. Okay, thank you.”
Speaking of his hyper-creativity, Wirth says: “I have to create music or else I don’t feel happy. I often wake up in the middle of the night with a melody running through my head, and I have to record it quickly simply so that I can get back to sleep.” This EP is a result of a stream of consciousness in music, something that is therapy for the artist; hugely personal yet highly relatable as a result. We feel the frustration and we side with The Shikes.