Bold pianos, strong voices, and socially conscious lyrics drive home the latest single by Bedouin Soundclash and The Skints.

Canadian duo Bedouin Soundclash have been making some noticeably big waves in the alt-rock/reggae scene since 2005, with singles such as “Brutal Hearts” and “When the Night Feels My Song” gaining tens of millions of streams and downloads. However, that rock reggae fusion has been put aside for a 70s throwback that features Marcia Richards of The Skints.

The song derives from their 4 track EP Birds of a Feather/Beyond Four Walls released in July of this year. “Shine On” is definitely the centrepiece of the record, with its uplifting nature and spot-on chorus that sees Marcia Richards belting out a powerful and emotive performance. Instrumentally, there’s a strong use of low piano chords as well as plinkity high notes. There’s an undeniably reggae-style electric guitar lurking in the mix to maintain the band’s roots, and all of these wonderful sounds are in tandem with this syncopated drum beat that really propels the track forward. Sonically, everything feels very speedy, which gives “Shine On” a pulsating rhythm that is incredibly infectious. 

In the first verse, Jay Malinowski (guitarist and singer) explains how he is plagued with a negative energy; stuck in the past, pessimistic and made of glass. However, it seems that a certain someone has managed to pull him out of his emotional rut, which explains the happy-go-lucky manner in which he is singing and the instrumental vibes that accompany him.

Now, if you thought Malinowski could sing, then wait until you hear Marcia Roberts’s appearance on the hook. While she only gets a few lines to herself, she really makes them her own with a stellar vocal performance. Not only does her high pitched cadence sound amazing by itself, but it compliments the lower register of Malinowski perfectly. The harmonies they manage to pull off together are some of my favourite moments on “Shine On,” and fondly remind me of how PinkPatheress and Sam Gellaitry sounded together on their single “Picture in my mind.” 

Those socially conscious lyrics I alluded to earlier show up in the second verse, focusing on the mundane repetition of “sad news delivered by news anchors almost every day.” As there’s been seemingly nothing but problematic news to report on in recent history, the commentary on how the world is stays very relevant. However, the band seem to want to embrace this fact by stating that while “nothing in this world will ever come back the same”, they also believe “nothing in this world will ever change”. It’s an interesting way to view the world, and the idea of having to take the good with the bad is a nice message to come away with.

“Shine On” will almost certainly get you bobbing your head to its infectious groove, high energy instrumental and a well-sung catchy hook.