10 Questions with Justin McGrath of Shadow Folk

shadow folk live aug 2013

Shadow Folk is  a Halifax psychedelic pop group founded in 2012 by Justin McGrath.  With a sound reminiscent of  early Beatles, Small Faces, The Kinks and Donovan, Shadow Folk sound like they have been transported directly from the 1960’s British Invasion.  The band consists of Justin McGrath (Guitar, Lead Vocals), Ian Bennett (Bass, Vocals) and Jordan Murphy (Drums, percussion).

Although less than two years old, Shadow Folk – who are part of the Halifax label Poncho Records -has released three EPs and a single.  In 2012, the band released Green Window EP and In The End (Electronic Experiments) EP.  In 2013, they released the single “When She Smiles At Me” on split 7″ vinyl and their most recent Seagull Visions EP (which is available on cassette). 

All of Shadow Folk’s music is available for download (pay what you can) on Bandcamp (http://shadowfolk.bandcamp.com/album/seagull-visions).  If you are a fan of the psychedelic music of the ’60s and ’70s (and really, who isn’t), I encourage you to give Shadow Folk a listen.

Shadow Folk’s next show in Halifax is November 9 at the Bus Stop Theatre (9:30) – see poster at bottom of this post.  Also playing the November 9th show are Walrus, The Age, Sheepman and Gnarwhalz.  In advance of that show, The Halifax Musicphile managed to get Shadow Folk’s Justin McGrath to take part in “10 Questions with…”

1. For those who are unfamiliar with Shadow Folk, tell me a bit about the band.

Shadow Folk started as a recording project of mine in early 2012 after moving from my hometown of Truro. I asked drummer Jordan Murphy who I had played with in Truro to join me and the two of us recorded the EP Green Window, after which I asked bassist Ian Bennett to join the group, as well as keyboardist Harrison Brooks, who has since exited the group. We are currently a trio.

2.When did you first decide you wanted to be a musician?

I have wanted to be a musician ever since I started playing in bands.

3. Shadow Folk reminds me of the 1960’s British Invasion. Who are your musical influences?

To name a few influences: The Kinks, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, CCR.

4. What is your all-time favourite song/album?

All time favourite albums are Abbey Road by The Beatles and Arthur by the Kinks.  Picking one song is too hard.  Maybe The Beatles “I want you / She’s so heavy”.

5. What has been your favourite moment as a member of Shadow Folk?

My favourite moments have all been hearing playback on recordings when they turn out really well, or just the magic like moments that will happen sometimes playing together when something rips extra good.

6. Since the beginning of 2012, Shadow Folk has released two digital EPs, a single on vinyl, and an EP on cassette.  Why the different formats?

Well, the digital happened because I guess I didn’t think we had the audience yet to release anything physical. We were asked to be a part of the Out of Sound records 7″ split vinyl by our label mates Walrus as a member of the Poncho Records label.  Each song is by a different Poncho Records band. Then with our latest EP Seagull Visions, I thought it was time to release something physical and cassette made sense for the low cost of production.

7. Where is your favourite place to play?

My favourite is house shows because there aren’t the rules and restrictions that you usually have at bars.

8. If you could invite two people to sit in with the band, who would they be and why?

Peter Rioux and Matt Trefry.  They are both great keys players that I know and it would be interesting to see what sound each of them would bring to the band.

9. If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing?

I don’t like anything else as much as music.  Maybe a dog walker or lawn mower.

10. Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

Still making music. I’d like to think that I’d be very good at it by that time.

shadow folk seagull visions cover art

Shadow Folk Discography

Green Window EP (digital download only)(2012)
In The End (Electronic Experiments) EP (digital download only)(2012)
When She smiles at Me (single) (available on split 7″ vinyl)(2013)
Seagull Visions EP (available on cassette)(2013)
Upcoming Show

poncho showcase poster fall 2013


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