Q&A with Shallows
LA-based alt-pop duo Shallows skyrocketed into the scene last year with their hit single, "Summer Sucks" and have already been making waves this year with two new releases, "Drive Away" and "Matter." Dani Poppitt and Marshall Gallagher met by chance, and since then have been blending genres and merging the underground with mainstream pop, creating a niche all their own in the music scene. Thankfully, they have no plans to slow down anytime soon, with plans to release a five song EP later this year. Fans can expect to catch Shallows live and hear some more new music soon, but in the meantime, read what the duo had to say about their formation, recent singles and more below.
Interview by Dom Vigil
Can you tell us a little bit about Shallows for any readers who might not be familiar?
Dani Poppitt: Shallows is a poppy glitter grunge band that will rip your heart out and makeup with you at the same time.
Marshall Gallagher: We were originally a husband and wife folk trio from St. George, UT, but we relocated to LA, tried marijuana for the first time and started making pop music. Really though there's not much to tell, we're a young band and our story is just beginning. Dani and I met at a house party, decided we were going to write a song together and we just started having fun and building a little catalog. By the time "Summer Sucks" was done, we decided we had to make a band, and here we are just over a year later.
How did you two first come together to begin writing music? When did you know that it was something that was going to work?
Marshall: We met completely by chance and we were both looking for people to shed our songwriting and production chops with. I think I knew Dani would be a consistent writing partner by the second song we wrote. We're just comfortable with each other and we're not afraid to say or do anything dumb.
Dani: It was a chance encounter that we had no idea was going to be the beginning of an amazing writing dynamic. We wrote a few songs then kinda fell out of touch for few months. Then we ran into each other at Davey Waynes. I think both of us felt we needed to do music and actually start building something that night.
Your sound is a sort of blending of many different genres. Where do you draw inspiration from musically?
Dani: I’m a sucker for good pop music. The Beatles are the original inspiration for me. But I feel like the current pop that is being released is what really inspires us.
Marshall: I personally grew up on Classic and punk rock, and I'm a guitar player by trade. I listen hard to every genre of music (except new country... yuck) and am inspired by all of the sounds. Which is sometimes a problem, because occasionally I'll turn out an 80s power ballad with a reggae one drop Chorus and a metal riff in the bridge. Dani and I listen to completely different stuff and a lot of the time she helps me reel it in a little, haha.
You’ve mentioned before that you want to attempt to erase the line between the underground and mainstream pop. Where did this idea stem from and how do you go about accomplishing it?
Marshall: It wasn't really an idea, that's just kind of what started happening. Like I mentioned, the two of us listen to completely different music and all of our influences find a way into the Shallows tunes. We agree on some things, and we both know a good song when we hear one regardless of the genre.
Dani: I think it’s already happening. I am surprised and inspired by some songs that make it to FM radio these days. It's becoming a friendlier place for experimenting with pop.
In the past month, you’ve released two new singles, “Matter” and “Drive Away.” Can you tell us a little bit about the songs?
Marshall: They're about as glittery retro pop as we get! We wrote both of them around the same time and they fit together nicely in a little package. They're mostly about love and longing and too many layers of synth.
Dani: "Matter" is an electric love confession and "Drive Away" is a sweet relief ballad. Both synth driven and rockin.
What would you like listeners to be able to take away from your music?
Dani: I want our listeners to hear our songs and feel better. Like they can get through what they are going through.
Marshall: I want our songs to be the ones people use to get other, more annoying songs out of their heads. By the way, my girlfriend and I discovered that "Africa" by Toto is a perfect slate cleaner for any relentlessly annoying melody cycling around in anyone's head. Try singing that to yourself next time you have a Shallows song stuck in your head and you want it to die, haha. I swear it works every time.
With these new tracks out now, can listeners expect any more new music soon? Possibly an EP in the future?
Marshall: Absolutely, we have a ton of new music waiting for final touches. Definitely one EP, probably two.
Dani: Yes! We have a 5 song EP coming sometime in the future. We're very excited to share and play out.
Do you have any plans to hit the road or play some shows soon?
Dani: We just finished recording our EP. So the plan is to release and start playing some shows when its time :) I'm sure we will have a release show in LA somewhere.
Marshall: We would love to play some more shows, we're just looking for the right ones. We played a bunch last year to get our chops up and we're ready for bigger shows and longer runs.
What is the rest of 2017 looking like for Shallows?
Marshall: Moving on up. Plenty of new music and good times ahead.
Dani: Things are looking up! Shallows is going to be releasing a bunch of new music in 2017 so keep your eyes peeled.