Bright Shadows are Yorkshire-born Helen Beth and Sri Lankan Brit Raji K. Before meeting and forming the band, each was an active singer-songwriter in their own right, with diverse influences and distinctive sounds on the music scene. While Raji’s rockier side saw a leaning towards riffs, darker tones, cryptic lyrics and a sense of the epic, Helen emphasised a folk pop style with catchy hooks and more conventional song structures. Upon meeting through the Reading circuit in 2013 at long-standing event Bohemian Night, both artists discovered a mutual affinity for melody, rhythm, and emotive subject matter leading to their first jam together on what they deemed to be a ‘cross over song.’ This was Raji’s "Fool's Silver" later becoming the first song they performed as a duo.
While mutual admiration for one another’s music initially drew them together, they struggled to find a common ground from which to build new material. The songs had a perceptible style of one or the other and they agreed that forming a new act probably wasn’t realistic; they would be better off as ‘guests’ on each other's songs, rather than as a duo in their own right. However, over time the two musicians found they enjoyed the energy, complementing guitar techniques and more importantly, the harmonies born of the blended vocals lending a new edge to what they were doing. It felt special, unique even.
In early 2014, they renamed themselves Bright Shadows, as a nod towards their juxtaposed styles and merged identities. They began writing more material together, the fruits of which can be found on their debut EP Diffusion, released in August 2015. With discernible recollections of Fleetwood Mac, Natalie Merchant and even the Red Hot Chili Peppers, it combines bright, harmonic pop and driving rock.
Bright Shadows completed a busy schedule of gigs, festivals and radio appearances throughout 2015 and 2016 to coincide with and celebrate the release of the EP. However, in the latter part of this year, time has been spent redefining their acoustic sound, jamming out and writing new material, while Will Woodwardhas come on board as a permanent percussionist for their live performances.