Abbey Todd

Guys, I know what you’ve been thinking. “I want a band that sounds like 80’s rock, but contemporary, so I could see it live, and it’s not just old dudes.” Hold your horses because I have the group for you. And no… it’s not Greta Van Fleet this time (Although if anyone has tickets to the tour and a way to get me there, I’m not saying no).

Shadow Academy is a new band put together by Dan Avidan and Jim Roach. Roach is an Emmy-winning writer and producer who owns the indie record company by the name of Red Parade Music Group, which has helped launch the careers of The Young Romans and Skyler Stonestreet. The label is known for letting its artists explore in the booth to create their own unique sound. 

Avidan is most known for his comedy career on the YouTube channel Game Grumps with Arin Hanson, alongside his own musical group with Brian Wecht named NSP ( which is going on its 11th year). Roach and Avidan share a collective love of rock and big sound. After working in an artist/producer capacity for a long time, the two decided to create Shadow Academy. 

The band stemmed from the COVID-19 pandemic as Roach sent new ideas to Avidan. Their debut single, White Whale, was born out of Avidan’s read-through of Moby Dick. It has an epic prog rock sound, reminiscent of the tale it was based on. It has a hard drive that provides its epic aesthetic and creates the imagery of a standoff between foes. White Whale definitely has the potential to become a new workout song or walk-out for sports.

Once and Nevermore, the band’s second single, is on the completely opposite end of the rock spectrum. It’s a pure ballad that couldn’t be crafted around Dan Avidan’s unique tone better. The harmonies are placed to create tension and resolve as the chorus takes off with more instrumentation, allowing the song to soar… as the best rock ballads do. It utilizes the strengths of the strings alongside the piano melody within the verses. This all leads to the guitar solo with Avidan’s backing vocals at the end, and it evokes the emotion of breaking free and flying. Avidan said this was one of his favorite songs to create, and its excellence is evidence of why. 

Overall, I can’t wait to see what this band comes out with. They have already given us two ends of the spectrum to show the world that they have unlimited potential. With the confirmed drop of another single on March 25th and teaser after teaser of a full album (possibly announced the same day), I am so excited for what this group does in the future. 

Recommended If You Like: NSP, The Mars Volta, Smashing Pumpkins, Starbomb, Muse, Queens of the Stone Age

Recommended Tracks: Everything they have out so far!

Do Not Play: None