Shane Archer Reed reflects on album, ‘Mirror on the Wall’

Thomas Tedesco, Vice President

It’s not hard to find an artist whose songs deal with personal emotions such as love and heartbreak.

Rarely, however, can someone find an artist whose songs convey wide ranging emotions with a sense of  authenticity.

“I told myself not to be afraid of just saying whatever comes into my head or to my heart first,” Shane Archer Reed said in an exclusive interview with The Record.

The singer, songwriter and musician hailing from Oneida, New York recently released a collection of these emotionally captivating songs with his most recent studio album, “Mirror on the Wall.”

“It’s being able to look at yourself in the mirror,” Reed said about the album’s concept. “To see those glaring insecurities and those demons that you are fighting from inside, tearing you up and being able to hold your own against them.”

The album’s lead single, “Moving Mountains (Dammit I’m Trying),” is a high energy, theatrical rocker with an instantly recognizable guitar riff in its intro. In addition to the lead vocals and guitars, Reed performed nearly all the other instruments and vocal parts on the 14 song album.

Reed says that the various emotional states he touches upon are represented throughout the single’s music video which was filmed primarily in the Adirondack Mountains.

“The idea for ‘Moving Mountains’ was taking the various different emotions that someone can have in that song; anger, sadness, determination and drive, and find a location for every single one of them for me to perform it,” he said.

The high energy, rock aspect of the album is kept up throughout nearly the entire first half with songs including “As It Should Be” and the album’s second single, “Living a Lie.”

The latter song demonstrates a feeling of defiance towards someone’s wrongdoing in its lyrics. Reed says this concept is what the rest of the song was built upon.

“You can go and live the life you always wanted, but I know that you’re living a lie,” Reed sings in the song’s chorus.

The album also contains its fair share of heartfelt moments and ballads. It comes to a climax with the song “Man on the Moon,” an emo-rock ballad reminiscent of the song “Cancer” by My Chemical Romance.

“I remember having to fight back tears recording the song, because it was so personal and heart wrenching,” Reed recalls.

He said the song was inspired by the musical stylings of Queen and David Bowie, but during the recording process of the song, he decided on a simpler arrangement with the sole line of the chorus being, “It gets so lonely.”

“When I was writing ‘Man on the Moon’ I was looking for that kind of ‘Life on Mars’ feel that Bowie had,” he said. “But sometimes you got to keep it a little simple. I would much rather put the extravagance in the way I performed the song and put that kind of theatricality to it.”

The rest of the album follows several of Reed’s theatrical influences with an intermission piece. The second half largely consists of introspective and reflective songs such as “Dead End Memory Lane” and “One Last Hope,” before concluding with the triumphant “Singing in the Street” that is worthy of a standing ovation at curtain call.

Reed and his band, The Harbingers are currently on tour to support the album. For more information on him and his music, visit his website.