The New Shining
“So I feed the fire as I'm running through the rain,
I gotta catch the liar who is feeding off my shame”
(Black Dog on album Elephant)
After more than 5 years of radio silence, The New Shining have released their 6th studio album: 'Elephant'.
The new album features 12 songs from the rock band that surprised friend and foe in 2012 with the intimate acoustic song 'Can't Make Up My Mind'. The song became a classic on Dutch radio.
After a rollercoaster ride of radio and TV performances, festivals, club tours and interviews, the band took a temporary break in early 2014. Nax, lead singer/guitarist and songwriter of the band: “The band needed a break. What people sometimes forget is that prior to our success with the album Stripped/Full Circle we had been struggling for years. It affects you. Of course we enjoyed our success, but some band members really needed a moment of reflection.”
Nax grasped the opportunity in this tranquil period and set up his long-anticipated solo project. “I have been writing like crazy for 3 years. I experimented with everything that I came across: synths, psychedelic music, and authentic roots music. Meanwhile, I built my own studio. I wanted to delve deeper into songwriting, writing lyrics, arranging, recording, producing and mixing. For three years I have lived a life of quiet withdrawal to be able to feel and hear myself again. During that time I learned a lot about writing music and producing, but also about myself. Some people become anxious by the idea of being alone with themselves for 3 years, but for me it’s like an oasis. I stood apart from the world, away from the noise of everyday life, and I was living instead of being lived. And to be able to reflect on things that really matter."
This period resulted in Nax's solo debut album Heart Fire Home.
(short docu: Finding Home)
Unfortunately, around the release of Nax’s solo album he was struck by a dark depression, something the singer has been struggling with all his life. “I couldn't do anything anymore – no promotion, no shows, no interviews, nothing. I felt paralysed. There was only one thing I could do: write music. That's the only thing I can do at times like that. And it’s the only thing that actually helps. This was one of the most serious depressions I'd experienced so far. I missed my band and decided to write a new TNS album. While writing, I realized that it’s music that keeps me going and pulls me through the darkest periods of my life.”
Few people realize what it means to struggle with depression: “You suffer in silence. Invisible. I feel blessed that I'm able to turn my condition into something positive through my music. I truly wish that for everyone dealing with this sickness. Annually, around one million people still commit suicide. A million!
I feel strongly connected to those who suffer and struggle in silence.
I'd like to encourage, comfort and inspire them by giving them a voice and let them know that they are being seen. This album is meant for those people. The 'invisibles', the misfits, the people on the edge of society. I'm one of them.
That also explains the title of the album: the big elephant in the room...”
Conveniently enough, those 3 years of experimenting come in very handy. Elephant is riddled with 80's synth sounds. The band describes it as electro rock with a hefty smear of the 80s. "We really love the 80s. But only dare admitting so now," says bass player 'R' with a wink.
The singer/songwriter of the album does not shy away from people having a peak into his soul. The album is full of real, personal and emotionally evocative lyrics.
“I love to write real lyrics. Write about real things. If you’ve got nothing to say, then you don't have a song, in my opinion. The world already has enough noise as it is ..”
The songwriter of the band also produced the new album: "I made this album from scratch for the first time. From writing to mixing, producing and mastering. When you’re finally holding it in your hands, that's really something..”
Stripped, the acoustic album released in 2012, became 'Album of the Week' at national radio stations 3FM, Radio 2 and Radio 1, and the record received nominations for three Edison and two 3FM radio awards.
The single “Can’t Make Up My Mind” climbed the Dutch rock charts (Mega Top 50) and stayed there for weeks. It was also voted “Most beautiful song of 2012” by Radio 2, entering that station’s all-time greatest hits Top 2000 chart in the same year.
The band played at home and abroad, sold out two of its own club tours, played at festivals such as Concert at Sea and Songbird and was the longest-running support act for the Golden Earring, opening for the legendary rock band for a total of three years.
The New Shining is:
Xander 'Nax' Stok: lead singer / guitarist (songwriter)
Arjan 'R' Nijman: bas and backing vocals
Roel van der Sluis: drums
Elephant will be released on October 25th 2019 via Johnny T Records. The first single taken from this album is "Looks Like Rain".
Edison Pop & 3FM Awards
TNS on stage
The New Shining