Cape Town, South Africa: a new project springs up from ashes left by 2020 in the local music scene with Sundergeist; presently the solo project of one Ric Shields. Ric is best known for his tenure with Last One Alive as guitarist and backing vocalist. He also played bass for the final iteration of Atlantic South.
Of course, the question might be asked: what qualified Ric for these roles in the first place? Enter Sundergeist.
Sundergeist: revisiting the boneyard
Ric describes his solo material as a collection of musical ideas and musings discarded to a “boneyard” of more youthful aspirations. Much of it inspired by the onset of early depression and a means to grapple with new senses of reality for that chapter of his life.
“As the world within grew more complex and uncertain, I sought a way to contain this dark new energy; to give it form, and music became the receptacle.” ~ Ric Shields (vocalist/multi-instrumentalist, Sundergeist)
With both Last One Alive and Atlantic South on indefinite hiatus, Ric’s need to scratch the musical itch during lockdown got the better of him. The current material is largely a rework of everything from that previous era.
“I made the decision to revisit the boneyard, and there they were; all those fragments of the last two decades; all the potential waiting to be unleashed.” ~ Ric Shields
Sundergeist: introduced with title-track, ‘Hindsight’
Ric will release Sundergeist‘s debut album, titled Hindsight, on 16 December.
“This track best enshrines the concept of hindsight and the spirit with which I approached the album as a body of work. I’ve been writing music for close on two decades, promptly stashing it away for various reasons including fear of failure, lack of technical ability and experience.” ~ Ric Shields
We asked Ric to elaborate a little bit on the context of ‘Hindsight’ as a song and an album title.
“Time has a way of fermenting ideas. It’s remarkably powerful being able to look through the eyes of your more evolved self at the raw, unfiltered offerings from your less creatively restricted days. You perceive newfound value and suddenly you align yourself as a servant of these creative entities. Each song on the album is an overhaul of one or more old recordings, the worthless bits discarded, the lyrics updated to reflect my current philosophical climate. This track releasing today speaks about the journey to that higher vantage point, and the perilous people and mental obstacles seeking to prevent me from reaching it. Musically it also just ticks all the boxes: It gets straight to the point, it demonstrates my ability as a musician and engineer, and tonally I feel it authentically communicates my personality as an artist. Fulfillment of dreams is expensive, and the currency is time. After looking back, this is a price I would pay gladly.” ~ Ric Shields
Sundergeist will also feature as part of M4A‘s next online festival event, SummerFest’21, on 30 January 2021.