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EXCLUSIVE: Interview with alt-pop duo Shallows

Shallows is a rising LA-based, alt-pop duo made up of Dani Poppitt and Marshall Gallagher.

Having been compared to all sorts of artists, it’s evident that the duo are influenced by various sounds. However, they stand out in their own right as they weave elements of numerous genres into their music, sprinkling it all with glitter and a lot of fun to create their unique sound.

Last month, the duo released two new tracks called ‘Matter’ and ‘Drive Away’, which garnered critical acclaim from numerous outlets as well as brilliant streaming figures. 2017 looks set to be a spectacular year for Shallows, and we can’t wait to see what their future has in store for them.

We recently had the opportunity to quiz Dani and Marshall on how Shallows came about, how they define their sound and what their future aspirations as a duo are. Check it out below.

Hi guys, thank you for speaking to CelebMix today! First off, can you tell us how Shallows came about? How did you form etc?

Marshall – We started working together after meeting at a party I had at my old apartment. We were both looking for people to collaborate with on a pop/electronic project and after the first couple of songs we knew we’d be successful writing partners. At some point we decided the songs were too cool to try and pitch to someone else, so we formed a band.

Dani – Shallows was the outcome of a magically random LA party. Two strangers bumped shoulders and spoke about music. We dig music.

Have you always wanted a career in music, or did you have any other aspirations?

D- I definitely went through my phases while growing up. First, I wanted to be a massage therapist. Then an actress. Then a professional skier….finally landing on music. I was always into poetry though. So I think that helped with writing later on when I did apply my thoughts to music.

M- I wanted to be a paleontologist when I was little, but obviously that didn’t happen. I picked up playing guitar when I was about 12 and never really thought about it being a career until about halfway through college. At first I wanted to be on the business side of things but quickly realized I hated it.

You’re a guy/girl duo – what makes you stand out among other duos out there at the

M- We have better hair. Haha.

D- I think what makes us stand out are the songs. Ain’t nothing like a good ole fashion pop song. It is a force of its own. Also, the production lends itself to the future of pop music; mysterious and full of tension and release.

You’ve been compared to an array of artists from Katy Perry to Ace of Base. If you were to fuse three artists together to define your sound, who would they be?

D- Fleetwood Mac, Crystal Castles, and No Doubt

M- Depends which era of Shallows you’re talking about! For everything we’ve released in the past, I’d pick Tears For Fears, Lorde and Robyn. The new stuff is getting a lot darker.

You released two new singles last month, ‘Matter’ and ‘Drive Away’. Can you talk us through the inspiration behind both tracks?

M- “Matter” started as somewhat of a joke, a play on words. It evolved into a song about kind of an existential love life crisis. That week I was listening to a lot of Kate Bush and Poolside. “Drive Away” was just a story we built about a girl who’s involved with a guy she can’t reel in – the guy is constantly taking off and the love is unreciprocated. Sonically I wanted it to sound like a pop song, but with shoegaze guitar and synths that were a bit chillwave.

D- “Matter” was inspired by the feeling of being on the edge of losing someone and questioning if you really could be everything to them. Just like they were to you. “Drive Away“ is more of that don’t speak no doubt style song. It’s a confessional call to that destructive person in your life. Whom you love and don’t want to live without but might have to.

Is there an EP or an album in the works?

D- yes yes yes <3 EP 1 in mixing phase.

M- At least one EP, yes. It’s quite a bit different than what you’ve heard thus far, but I
think people will dig it.

How would you describe your songwriting process?

M- It’s pretty laid back, but when we find our swing, it’s efficient as hell. Dani usually has a good set of words or ideas to build on.

D- It’s always different. Sometimes I will come in with an idea. Sometimes Marshall will have an idea. Sometimes we have no ideas and start bullshitting on the guitar. That’s what is so fun about making music. NO RULES BRO!

You’re based in LA – what one thing from the city would you say has influenced you the most musically?

D-The People.

M- The amount of crazy talented and successful songwriters. It forces us to level up quickly and work continuously.

What are some of your favorite go-to songs at the moment?

M- “Africa” by Toto (haha). “Hood Politics” by Kendrick Lamar. “Back To School” by Deftones. “Face Like Thunder” by The Japanese House. “Game Of Pricks” by Guided By Voices.

D- “I know a place” by MUNA. “Lovesick” by Banks

You’ve had an incredible reaction to your music so far. What do you hope to achieve during the next few years?

D- My hopes for the next few years are a steady climb. We want to play festivals and get our music on the radio. Record more EPs/albums as we grow as songwriters.

M- It’s been pretty crazy, things seem to be happening pretty quickly and I just want to be able to sustain the momentum. It’d be cool to do a few rad support tours, get someone really cool to mix our records and release said records.

What else does 2017 have in store for Shallows?

M- Lots of writing, collaborating and with any luck, some big shows!


Thank you to Shallows for their time. ‘Matter’ and ‘Drive Away’ are available now.

Keep up to date with the duo on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Let us know your thoughts on Shallows! Get in touch via Twitter @CelebMix

Written by Katrina Rees

I'm Katrina, or Kat to pretty much everyone. I'm an editor for CelebMix, a content writer, a boyband lover and an all round music fanatic.
Twitter: @lifeofkatrina