Review Summary: “That’s me, just a sweet melody”
Shura’s sophomore LP forevher
is a major evolution in style and sound. Her 2016 debut was a quality – but routine – exercise in indie-pop; this
however is a surreal, electronically flourishing pop tour de force. The entire experience breathes easier and feels like it’s ready to hit the club. Whether it’s the sexy groove and sugary melody of ‘side effects’ or the way that ‘BKLYNLDN’ floats in ecstasy atop experimental synths, Shura sounds like she’s no longer grounded in reality.
There’s a reason for that; Aleksandra Denton (Shura is merely her stage name) spent the time between Nothing’s Real
falling in love via a long distance, transatlantic relationship that consisted primarily of Skype/iMessage communications. Everything about her music now reflects that period of time in her life, from the autotune filters and digitized production to fluttering, romantic strings. forevher
is an emotional and artistic burgeoning that sees Denton craft her most free-flowing piece to date. It’s closer to Robyn’s Honey
than whatever indie
umbrella she used to reside beneath.
On the record’s opener Shura sings, “that’s me, just a sweet melody”, and in a strange sense it feels like forevher
’s overture. There’s a simplicity to this album that would perhaps leave a void if it weren’t so satisfyingly melodic – with hooks dug so deep into every tune that it’s impossible not to sway along. That head-over-heels aura of falling in love is made all the more infectious on truly sensual neo-soul/R&B tracks like ‘religion’ and ‘control’, both of which detail Denton’s queer sexual encounters with her lover. Being in a same-sex relationship in 2019 can involve its fair share of complications, but Shura keeps things light and breezy throughout. This results in some lyrical clichés, but it’s nothing that can’t be forgiven in the sensationalized, neon lights of the dancefloor.
is a supremely catchy, slightly experimental (the horn sections in ‘princess leia’ couldn’t go unmentioned), but chiefly fun
pop record that implements plenty of ideas that are completely new to Shura’s arsenal. It’s an album to soundtrack your nightlife, from the bars and clubs to gazing across the room at the man or woman you secretly love. The record ebbs and flows in tempo, from the seductively pulsing ‘side effects’ to the experience’s more contemplative midsection – with songs like ‘tommy’ and ‘flyin’ adding a dose of introspection. Everything here feels unweighted, buoyant…part of a rhythmic give and take… that’s forevher
, an album all about the lust, love, and effortless flow. With a sound this infectious and spellbinding, Shura has undoubtedly found her calling.