“Hugo of Bath” is perhaps the earliest Shaman Elect collaboration and the first Garcia-Warshowsky composition. The initial concept for the track was conceived during a snowstorm in the winter of 2016. Local authorities had urged everybody inside with the notion that it wasn’t safe to venture out into the storm. The idea emerged of an adolescent boy (Hugo) feeling trapped and restless, looking out from the safety of his dwellings into the storm. In a fit of inspiration, he can’t help but be overcome with the idea of what could be out there to be discovered, if only he would venture out. He builds up the rash courage and goes out on his own, but soon realizes he has perhaps mistaken his youthfulness for courage, and he is now in a hard, cold, and difficult place. Ultimately, Hugo realizes that he must accept the fate he has chosen and truly risk everything to become something totally new.
Around the same time, Garcia had just finished reading the novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, a bildungsroman by James Joyce. The idea came to write a lyrical coming of age story, inspired by the concept of the track, and the themes expressed in the book: identity, entrapment, transformation, and the role of the artist. The final line of the track ‘We cannot succumb to despair, the antidote exists and it is we who bear the breakthrough, that we all need to go on” was inspired by a Woody Allen line written for the character of Gertrude Stein in which she explains the role of the artist.
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Tight grooves, crisp tones, emotive lyrics, waves of mood oriented improvisation.
Shaman Elect was born inside warehouses turned art studios in Brooklyn, NY. It started as a fusion of styles between Ethan Warshowsky(synths, vocals) and Fredy Garcia (guitar, vocals). Together, they began developing each other’s songs by combining elements of jazz, rock, and electronica.
In early 2017, leading up to their first live performance, Mike Malkowski (drums, vocals) joined the group, contributing his inventive and dynamic drumming. Expressive singer, Sarah Warshowsky (lead vocals) became the group’s frontwoman.
After a series of successful performances in New York City, the band entered the studio to work on their debut full-length album, Mind the Ether.