When Andrew DeMuro auditioned for Season 11 of The Voice, he was part of a three-man band called The Shades that was preparing to release its first EP.
One year later, that EP is here. Andrew and band mates Mark Jacobson and Phil Jacobson dropped the six-song “Miles Made of Inches” on Friday.
And you’ll be forgiven if the sound conjures up memories of Crosby, Stills and Nash when you hear The Shades’ impressive harmonies on songs like “The Path Without” and “Wildfire.”
That’s an indication of one of the group’s many influences, Andrew said.
“Originally, we bonded over shades of the Beatles and Stevie Wonder,” he told Voice Views. “Around the time many of the songs on this record were written, we showed our shades of Brandi Carlile and Crosby, Stills & Nash. In our current live act, you can hear shades of Chance the Rapper and Lake Street Dive.”
And he said he expects the group’s sound “to continue evolving with our tastes.”
Based in Chicago, The Shades’ origin hails back to 2008 when the Mark and Phil met Andrew at the University of Miami. Mark and Andrew later began singing background at Phil’s gigs.
In 2014, they wrote their first song together, the catchy “Take Me Home” — which is on the EP — and decided to make the trio official.Three years later, Andrew says they consider themselves full-time musicians because “we each put our blood, sweat, and tears into this project.”
But by day, Phil works for a law firm in Chicago. Mark and Andrew are mentors with a nonprofit program called “Guitars Over Guns.”
As for the EP’s title, “Miles Made by Inches” is a lyric from the track “Some and Others.”
“It serves as a call to recognize and appreciate small steps toward large goals,” Andrew said of the decision on the EP’s name. “As vision-oriented as we are, the process of making this record really happened upon us by accident.”
He explains that the group wound up playing host to a friend who is a music producer in late 2015. At the time, they had about a half dozen new songs they’d written together.
“Our friend brought some of his recording equipment out with him from LA, thinking he might be able to cut us a demo or two during his stay. We started recording in my living room, and by the end of the day we were so thrilled with the direction we were headed in that we decided to record guitars and vocals for every song we had.
“After deciding on a final group of six, the tunes traveled literal miles across the nation to New York, Miami, and LA, where musician friends of ours recorded the instrumentation you hear on the record. It’s been a long journey, but it feels special to be setting these songs free in this way.”
Now, here’s the incredibly addictive “Only for a Moment,” my favorite track from the new EP.