The dulcet sounds of Shabson, Krgovich & Harris are the perfect late-night soundtrack.

Though I was a few years out of its target demographic, I was not above watching the odd episode of Today’s Special back in my youth. The children’s show had a very 80s premise centred around a department store mannequin named Jeff who comes to life and hangs out with his real-life friends who work the night shift. One of the things about the show that I never appreciated at the time was the calibre of musical guests who helped make Jeff and company’s night-time adventures sound magical and truly special. 

Though I’m in no way endorsing a 2020 reboot of Today’s Special, the dulcet sounds of trio Shabson, Krgovich & Harris would surely be the perfect soundtrack for late-night romps in empty department stores. Honestly, I would happily live the rest of my days in any space filled with Joseph Shabason, Nicholas Krgovich, and Chris Harris’s debut album, Philadelphia. Pre-dating any government-enforced isolation, Philadelphia came together via email exchanges between the three friends before they decided to step into a studio and commit its intimate textures and midnight vibes to record. 

Krgovich’s balmy voice is like a muscle relaxant: try as you might, once it enters your bloodstream there’s no way to fight off its effect. That he’s often singing about “showers before bed, dusty minivans, sips of gatorade, and the modern minutiae” in a stream-of-consciousness flow further fuels Philadelphia’s slip into sinuous new age soundscapes. Shabason and Harris cast a musical spell that weaves feathery light horns and synths into a helical coil; their music could quite literally be the DNA structure of dreams.

So thorough was my immersion into Shabson, Krgovich & Harris’s somnambulist state that it took me multiple listens and a press release before recognizing Philadelphia’s title track is a cover of Neil Young’s theme to the 1993 movie of the same name. The trio says covering the song felt like the perfect fit for the album’s recontextualizing of 90s new age sensibilities and their conflict-free collaborative process: “[Philadelphia is] the city of brotherly love, and this album was three grown men in a room together making something over which we literally had zero disagreements”. As if the resulting music isn’t evidence enough, that synergy is further proof that the places and spaces shaped by Shabson, Krgovich & Harris are indefinitely special beyond today’s reality.

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