Shura – forevher

An album of both certified bops and genuine depth.
Label: Secretly Canadian
Released: 16th August 2019
Rating: ★★★★

Modern life is weird, at least if viewed through a more traditionalist prism. Time was, so legend had it, that relationships would be things which happened with a filter based as much on where you found yourself as who that person was. You’d meet someone local, you’d date, you’d break-up or settle down. It was neat. Easy.

But that’s not 2019. In an era of Skype chats, WhatsApp left on read, dating apps and social media pressure, the world is quite literally our constantly demanding oyster. Which sort of, in a way, makes Shura’s second album the perfect soundtrack to modern romance. Written, primarily, about her relationship and its long-distance conception, it’s a New-York-to-London love story that’s relatable to anyone who’s ever felt the pull of something less than geographically ideal.

Hung heavy with promise, sex and desire, it’s deeply personal, but never excluding. From the ‘first date’ tension of ‘the stage’ – a watershed moment – to musings on queer desire on ‘religion (u can lay your hands on me)’, it’s a story as slick as silk sheets, but nowhere near as tacky. There’s even cross-Atlantic flight level overthinking about death and stuff.

It’s not just about that thickly layered emotion, though. ‘forevher’ is an album of both certified bops and genuine depth. ‘side effects’ is a luscious slow jam, while closing track ‘skyline, me now’ is a hazy promise drawn out to a satisfying close. For something that exists in a digital age, Shura’s second album still holds on to that one thing that all no amount of technology or volume of air miles can replace – genuine heart. Whatever the secret is, it’s a keeper.

Stephen Ackroyd

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