Shores was never intended to be a "band." It had been a sound/style that had been obsessed over since the band members' high school days.
Formed by drummer John Massel and guitarist/vocalist Brian Przybylski somewhere in mid-2008, practicing in rogue basements around the Grand Rapids area and forming in the ashes of band members' prior bands North Lincoln, Wormburner, The Hartford Whalers and more, Shores immediately embarked on their first album "Coup de Grace" tracked in just 16 hours over two days that fall. After a fairly inactive 2009, the band completed their critically acclaimed 2010 release "To Volstead," adding members Sean Stearn (guitars) and Billy Bartholomew (bass) to join the fold "for a few shows." Bartholomew's pop sensibility and love of all things "space rock" [Hum/Failure/Shiner/etc], and Stearn's penchant for noise [Swans] and sad bastard balladry [Wooden Wand] were perfect complements, even almost missing pieces, to what Massel and Przybylski had already started, and led to an album described as reminiscent of slowcore champions Codeine, Red House Painters, Low, Slowdive, June of 44 and others.
"Volstead-era" Shores found the band exploring strange new loud places that they never knew before. "We made a lot of weekend treks through the Midwest and East Coast over that time, listened to a lot of Botch and Kyle Kinane, became better friends, learned how to be a band... and in an attempt to translate and make sense of that, and to tiptoe the waters of tracking as a 4-piece, we went back to Cold War Studios [Grand Rapids] with Rick Johnson in the spring of '11 and recorded what is now known as the 'Neitherwise' EP," explains Przybylski.
Immediately following the completion of "Neitherwise," the band began work on their new "Leavening" LP in the fall of 2011. Having the song skeletons already written, over the course of a couple months, the band popped in and out of Cold War Studios, piecing the record together. Keeping true to Shores' form, another record had been completed, with the members having never actually played the songs together before, only this time, it came from all four distinct places. The result is a perfect reflection of Shores' spectrum of influences, exploring loudness, playing with effects and noise, and raising the bar the band had previously set for themselves.
"'Leavening' feels like a perfect summation/realization of what 'Shores' has come to mean to us," says Przybylski, "but also a new playing field. It's both a benchmark and a threshold to us."