Track By Tracks: Shumaun - Opposing Mirrors (2024)

About the album as a whole (LYRICALLY & MUSICALLY):

The album is intended to be listened to sequentially, although there are standout singles dispersed throughout. There's a natural flow between the songs, and the lyrics contribute to a conceptual feel. In essence, the album is kind of conceptual, and the title, "Opposing Mirrors," encapsulates this theme perfectly. Whether it's reflecting on a loved one, an adversary, or individuals grappling to connect, the album delves into the challenges of understanding “the other” by means of self-reflection and awareness and viewing them as a mirror for oneself, fostering compassion and empathy in the process.


1. The Perils of Amnesia:

The album kicks off with a semi-epic track blending elements of ambient, world music, prog, and metal. I incorporated a Persian Santoor in the middle to enhance its authenticity. Thematically, the song explores our collective tendency to repeat past mistakes, leading to inevitable failure, particularly from a societal perspective.

2. Balance:

This is a song I wrote several years ago, back in 2006 or so when Jose and I were in the band Encompass. Several folks have asked to bring it back and I was reluctant to because it didn’t really fit previous albums, but I felt it fit perfectly with this one. If it sounds slightly different from the other songs, that's likely the reason. Thematically, the lyrics center around transcending one's ego and primal instincts.

3. Opposing Mirrors:

This song is undoubtedly a standout single. The aim was to create a track that is concise and direct, yet still embodies all of our signature characteristics. Thomas Lang really delivered on this one. Lyrically, the song delves into the theme of a deteriorating relationship, highlighting the inability to perceive the situation from each other's perspectives, ultimately leading to breakdowns in communication, and the inevitable dissolution of the relationship.

4. Anxiety and Daydreams:

This track is easily my favorite instrumental that I’ve written. It's also one of my personal favorites on the album! It captivates the listener, taking them on a journey through moments of serenity and, dare I say, anxiety? Filled with layers and subtle textures, it's a piece I'm truly proud of that I hope everyone will enjoy, especially if you hate my vocals!

5. That Which Turns:

This song blends a lot of progressive elements into a bitesize nugget. I really like the movement behind the guitar solo section and the time shifts. It has a somewhat unorthodox arrangement mixing acoustic and electric guitars that makes it a nifty track. That which turns is referring to the heart, and how our emotions and feelings can fluctuate unexpectedly at any moment.

6. Beyond Reflection:

I was just writing out my thoughts in real-time after my dad passed away in 2022. You can hear his voice in the middle of the song, which I recorded on my phone from the hospital a few hours before he passed on. In Bengali, he is saying “I want to stick to my decision and go back home. Let me just stay there for a week, and if I start feeling worse, then we can call 911… (and return to the hospital),” not realizing at that moment that he didn’t have much more time ahead of him. Musically, it’s very basic, but I did throw in a decent guitar solo in the end.

7. Some Memories...:

This song represents a departure from our usual style. It has a modern edge with its choppy guitar rhythms under the verses, but I believe the chorus brings it back to the classic Shumaun sound with its big hook and open chords. Lyrically, it addresses the phenomenon of cancel culture, exploring how individuals can face consequences for past actions or statements, even if they have since grown and evolved as people.

8. Porcelain Trees:

This song holds a special place as one of my all-time favorites. Lyrically, it began as a reflection on my dad's passing but evolved into an exploration of broader themes of oppression and injustice on a global scale. Musically, the song guides the listener through a complex narrative, both lyrically and musically. Despite being built around a simple theme and chord progression, the various movements allow the intricacies to shine, weaving throughout the song.

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