Tristen has exploded onto the thriving Midwestern music scene in the last year with his unique and intimate blend of folk and electronica. Through a relentless performance schedule and preternatural dedication to his craft Tristen has attracted a diverse and loyal following inspired by his poetic approach to writing and emotive live shows. His infectious melodies, insightful lyrics, and electronic samples cement a rare and engaging sound that has thrilled venues from Chicago to Dublin. His debut release on the datawaslost label (who recorded pop-rock favorite Swissfarlo) is due out in spring 04 and will feature some local crowd favorites'Rocket Pop SummerFree', 'Sunbeams', and 'Drama Queen'. The diverse sound was bred out of the dualistic nature that permeates every aspect of his life. His love of London-based electronica and pure organic folk has evolved into the bold genre of fascinating and atmospheric music. It can best be described as Massive Attack meets Wilco meets Nick Drake and holds the listener close with great hooks and prosaic lyrics. Tristen Shields - 'Migrations' (Datawaslost 2004, DWL041) ----- Uploaded to Aural Innovations: June 2004 A strangely compelling mixture of ethereal folk-rock, indie dream pop and post-Orb electronica, Migrations is Triste Shields' fiercely eclectic debut on the Cincinnati-based Datawaslost label. Though Shields' influences are often transparent, they're never obtrusive, and the expert playing of cellist Adrianne Wininsky, pianist Jason Wells and synthesist Michael Bond (who also co-produced) nicely complements the spare, atmospheric arrangements. Shields' clear, crystalline acoustic guitar and wonderfully raspy contralto voice dominates most of the songs, though he also plays electric piano, synthesizer and a very Dylan-esque harmonica on several pieces. 'Glowbox,' the opening track on Migrations, is an arresting fusion of Signified-era Porcupine Tree neo-psychedelia (replete with megaphone filtered vocals) and the shimmering kaleidoscopic lyricism of Throwing Muses-an eccentric but engaging collision of styles to be sure. 'Rocket Pop Summer Free' reaches near anthemic proportions, effortlessly conjuring up memories of lost childhood and it's long forgotten joys with some elegant piano/cello interplay and elusively beautiful lyrics reminiscent of the Cocteau Twins. Both 'Sunbeams' and 'Brand New Eyes' explore Shields' obvious fascination with the symbiosis of folk-based melodicism and ambient/jungle/trance influenced rhythms and textures. It's a cunning experiment, and Shields' obvious sincerity in consummating such a strange marriage of opposing forces authenticates and ultimately validates this bold venture. The album's coda, 'Migrations/The Nightingale,' is also the disc's longest track (at 8:53) and appropriately brings Shields' alchemy of the heart and the beat to an almost apocalyptic close, with it's airy display of dreamy xylophone chiming delicately through the muted synth pads and Shields' restrained acoustic strumming. An aching and mournful hymn of the dream of flight-outwardly through the sky but inwardly through the soul, as well-'Migrations/The Nightingale' soars on wings of regret toward the hard-won realization of our sometimes sad, but sometimes joyous earthbound existence. Migrations is an exhilarating prologue to what will hopefully be many more chapters in a brave new songbook.