‘I went blind…it made me hallucinate big time’: The story behind Melbourne’s Spectres & Machines
29.09.2021

‘I went blind…it made me hallucinate big time’: The story behind Melbourne’s Spectres & Machines

Spectres & Machines

Melbourne artist Spectres and Machines releases cinematic new single ‘Love Like A Supernova’, which will reappear in comic book form in the second of the Spectres & Machines digital comic book series.

Inspired by an unnerving life-changing experience, Melbourne-based singer-songwriter-guitarist, independent producer and filmmaker Timothy Shaw is back in full force under the moniker of Spectres and Machines, revealing his brand new single ‘Love Like A Supernova’.

The follow up to his debut single ‘We Will Rebuild’ released back in August and set against a backdrop of swirling synth, ‘Love Like A Supernova’ is a masterpiece of cinematic recording from the musician who took a recent health scare and channelled it into a whole new creative output.

“Earlier this year, I’d had a migraine for around two weeks and, I’d gone and seen several doctors and would take painkillers, avoid the light, the usual ways to manage a migraine, but it kept getting worse until I had to go into hospital,” Shaw reveals.

“I ended up having a lumbar puncture because I had fluid on the brain and hypertension and I went blind for maybe five to six days while I was in hospital. During that time, the doctors put me on a course of steroids hoping it would help me regain my sight, and it made me hallucinate big time in the process, it was almost as if I was on a spirit quest to find my body, that is the best way I can describe it. But it was also very scary at the same time because I didn’t know what was happening to me, I thought I was dying.”

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With a loss of sight and a failing nervous system, Shaw turned to music to fill the silence and ease his discomfort and anxieties, turning to the likes of meditation music, Coldplay and U2’s magnum opus The Joshua Tree.

“That’s a lot of where the sound of Spectres & Machines was born from,” he says.

“[The name] Spectres & Machines essentially summed up perfectly the types of imagery that I was seeing when I was hallucinating at the time in hospital, and over time I was able to manipulate and control what I could see by my thought patterns from the music I was listening to. It was the most bizarre and life-changing experience.”

The second offering from Shaw’s new conceptual project – which is not only a musical endeavour but also one of film and graphic novel – ‘Love Like A Supernova’ is an epic, grandiose anthem, transcendent with a glistening intro and outro.

Guided by a cinematic style of songwriting and immersive instrumentation, the near-seven-minute track mixes swirls of synths, steady percussion, lush spacey soundscapes and hypnotic melodies, while Shaw’s soft vocals pull it all together for an escalating, spellbinding ride.

Crafting something incredibly unique, the soundscapes alone have us mesmerised while influences of Coldplay, U2, Muse, Wolfclub and Elliot Smith surge and flourish throughout the track. At its heart, it’s an atmospheric voyage filled with textured sonics and dreamy melodies.

While the vocal delivery is instantly engaging, this track is one where the true meaning comes from the instrumentation with Shaw honing in on his filmmaking, and “scoring a track for a film that hasn’t been made yet.”

“While it can stand alone as a single confidently, is in itself a smaller puzzle piece to a larger story,” Shaw explains of single, the longest song to date that he’s ever written and recorded.

“Taken from the upcoming Spectres & Machines digital comic series [where it will appear in the second issue out of three] and short films to which the track is based on, it set a narrative told through the main character’s point of view reflecting on his and his love interest’s journey throughout the story.

“I know that might sound confusing. But to put it simply, imagine the Marvel Universe but instead of superheroes, it’s a musician with a story that’s able to extend outside of just music.”

While intended to be a part of a larger story, the single also holds its own as a standalone release, reflecting on the notion of following your heart making your own choices in life, and staying loyal to the ones you love.

Easy-listening and all-encompassing, arresting lyrics (‘Young flames, Love like a supernova, don’t listen to what the world tells ya, just listen to your own heartbeat’) are fused with the lush soundscapes and pulsing beats, woven neatly together by Shaw’s atmospheric DIY production.

With passions spanning music and film, Shaw started in the electrifying four-piece punk-rock band Our Best Laid Plans straight after high school and performing with the likes of MEST (USA), The Wonder Years (USA) The Getaway Plan, and 28 Days and then diving into indie-rock as ‘Tim Shaw’, the musician continues to evolve, invoking an entirely new dynamic with his new solo studio project.

Questing and majestic with magnetic synths and goosebump producing guitar, ‘Love Like A Supernova’ is a transcendent slow burn. It might take a few listens to digest it, but once you do, you will love it.

‘Love Like A Supernova’ now will reappear in comic book form in the second issue of the Spectres & Machines digital comic book series

Check out the single below.

The Music Video Visualiser along with the official release of the track will premiere Live on YouTube at 5pm AEST on the Spectres & Machines YouTube Channel.