By Cynthia Gross
This Alchemical Records article is read by the author to provide a multimedia experience for our audience while increasing the accessibility of our content to persons with hearing loss, low vision, dyslexia, physical or motor disabilities, or are on the autism spectrum.
With his latest single, “Giants,” Northern Virginia-based singer-songwriter Luke James Shaffer delivers a compelling empowerment anthem that has the ability to make the walls of fear and self-doubt crumble before our very eyes.
Shaffer notes “Giants” started as a song brief for a TV show. Although it ultimately wasn’t selected for the show, he knew the song was special after writing the first line: “I walk around with those Giants.” And listeners will agree wholeheartedly. With its infectious, optimistic message and impressive musicianship and production, the track is sure to be a hit. Shaffer credits his producer Jake Vicious of Vault Studio for helping to shape the track’s sound and bring it to life.
“’Giants’ turned into a song about how I find myself on gigs or in situations where I have this imposter syndrome,” Shaffer explains. “This feeling of, how did I end up here? It can be a bit overwhelming, but the idea behind the song is just do what you know, and what happens is what is supposed to happen.”
Lyrically, “Giants” demonstrates Shaffer’s expert proficiency in songcraft, a staple of his growing body of work. Throughout the single, he juxtaposes places of tension – turning “gold into diamonds,” “taming these lions,” and navigating “walking over coals” – underscoring the discomfort that often stands as a prerequisite to overcoming adversity.
Fans of The Lumineers, Vance Joy, and Mumford & Sons will identify with Luke James Shaffer’s charming, soulful music. In 2018, Shaffer’s debut EP – Luke James Shaffer, Vol. 1 – reached number 7 on the iTunes singer-songwriter charts. His song “Siren” received runner-up in the AAA/Alternative at the International Acoustic Music Awards a year later. Learn more about Shaffer in this previously published Alchemical Records editorial.
Perhaps the most important takeaway from “Giants” relates to how we define victory. Often, we believe that to be victorious, we must make our giants retreat – but Shaffer redefines victory in a profound way. Even with a beating heart and shaking hands, we can conquer our battles and exude courage in the presence of our giants.
“I’ve been here before,” Shaffer sings in the bridge to the chorus, and we have, too. Up until this point, every human being has been triumphant to some degree simply by being alive and still in the fight. With his latest release, Shaffer assures you that this time will be no different.
Go see Luke James Shaffer and his band live at Union Stage on October 7, where they will open for Wild Rivers.
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Maryland-based singer-songwriter Cynthia Gross seeks to inspire an awakening to all we are and all we can become. With a passion for language in all of its forms and more than a decade of experience as a professional ghostwriter, she is a light seeker who understands the power of each individual’s voice to create positive, meaningful change.
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