It’s the blue that hits you first. A deep, dark but ambiguous light, bathing the passionate embrace between two lovers in familiarity and newness. You wouldn’t immediately know that you’re looking at two women, or that the piece was conceived as a rework of Rodin’s The Kiss. But you’ll have certainly felt something like that blue, and on second album forevher – a title entwining ‘for her’, ‘forever’ and ‘forever her’ – Shura colours those classic images of love and self in bold new shades.
forevher is a record born from a budding romance, covering everything from the initial pull of desire, to the giddy joy of finally being together, to recognising the moment when the connection develops from lust into something scarily meaningful. Here is a classic London-to-NYC love story, but one told through the filter of dating apps and Skype chats. And whilst how to live – and love – as a queer woman has always been integral to Shura, it’s remarkable to hear these stories twisted through such a gorgeous amalgam of influences: Joni Mitchell and Minnie Riperton, Bon Iver and Frank Ocean, Prince and Ariel Pink. Through these inspirations, Shura’s own modern, outlier perspective found a newer, more daring approach to sound and song.
forevher is an album that feels the fear and does it anyway: princess leia considers the fact real love means having so much more to lose. Elsewhere, BKLYNLDN looks at romantic longing through the lens of texts, anxiety-inducing silences, and what presence and absence really means in today’s relationships. The record closes on the epic skyline, which builds to an explosive crescendo before levelling out to peace in a way that evokes some of the lusher, linear moments on Frank Ocean’s Blonde. For Shura, this soundtracks not only her final relocation to New York but also a much deeper journey as an artist and young woman.
Shura to make an album that dissolves boundaries of gender or sexuality in acknowledging that feeling - the one we all know, when we feel it. Listen to forevher, and you will feel it too.
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