“Raised In The Shades” by Some Distant Memory: A Sonic Journey through Time and Innovation

When diving into the soundscapes of “Raised In The Shades,” the latest masterpiece by Some Distant Memory, you’re not just listening to a song—you’re embarking on an auditory journey that bridges nostalgia and innovation. This second track from the first half of the Reflections album encapsulates the essence of Some Distant Memory’s distinctive sound, while introducing new and exciting elements that elevate the listening experience.

Raised In The Shades” is a testament to the artistic evolution of Jasper Ian Albrecht, the creative force behind Some Distant Memory. The song marks a significant milestone as it features the vocal debut of Nora, a fictional animated band mate and mascot who has become an integral part of the NORS universe. The track, initially conceived as a continuation of the minimalist, midi-tinged, e-bass led song “Another One” from the Archetype album, ventures into new territory with a faster pace and less minimalistic approach. The return of the signature sequencer, a hallmark of the lo-fi trilogy, creates a sense of familiarity for long-time fans, while the addition of shoegaze guitar tracks brings a fresh, dreamy quality to the song.

One of the standout features of “Raised In The Shades” is the use of a beautifully toned, retro but small lightweight thrift shop Chinese ‘Hin Hong’ keyboard. This instrument, despite its humble appearance, plays a crucial role in shaping the song’s unique sound. Its shoegazy guitar tones add a layer of texture that enhances the overall atmosphere of the track.

But it’s not just the instrumentation that sets “Raised In The Shades” apart. The recording process brought together a diverse group of contributors, including members of the NORS MMORPG gaming clan. These guild mates added a minimal but noteworthy touch with clarinet notes and beatbox samples, giving the song a unique flair. Though their musical contributions were short-lived, their impact remains, adding an irreplicable element to the track.

The lyrics of “Raised In The Shades” also reflect a collaborative spirit. Inspired by various singing styles and even including a nod to “Relax” by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, the vocal duties were divided among multiple participants. However, when the collaborators couldn’t continue, Jasper took on the challenge of impersonating their voices, using speech synthesis to bring Count Gaius, the NORS owner/spokesperson, into the mix. This blend of human and synthesized vocals creates a dynamic and engaging auditory experience.

Nora’s voice, against the backdrop of shoegazed electronics, is one of the highlights of the song. Her performance not only marks her debut but also sets the stage for future tracks, including “Beauty Untouched,” where her vocal presence continues to shine.

Raised In The Shades” is more than just a song; it’s a narrative. It represents the culmination of years of artistic growth and collaboration within the NORS community. Based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Some Distant Memory is the brainchild of Jasper Ian Albrecht, who, under the NORS Records label, has been producing music that resonates with fans of lo-fi, shoegaze, and electronic genres.

The Reflections album (part one), released in June 2023, showcases Jasper’s ability to blend different musical influences and create a cohesive sound that is both innovative and nostalgic. The album’s track list—comprising “Novel Narrative Instrumental,” “Raised In The Shades,” “Beauty Untouched,” “Forwards and Backwards,” and “Just A Story“—takes listeners on a journey through varied soundscapes and emotional landscapes.

The origins of NORS can be traced back to its beginnings as a community clan in the world of Runescape/Gielinor in 2011. This eclectic framework has been the backdrop for Jasper’s multimedia pursuits, starting with the original RSMV for “Electricity” by OMD on YouTube and continuing with the involvement of the Divine Baroness. Together, they have created a rich and immersive narrative that spans both Gielinor and Earth, enriching the cultural landscape of both dimensions.

Raised In The Shades” embodies the spirit of NORS and Some Distant Memory, blending past influences with new innovations to create a sound that is uniquely their own. As the journey of NORS and Some Distant Memory unfolds, one thing remains clear: their music will continue to captivate and inspire listeners, inviting them to be part of an ever-evolving story.