The simplest things are often the most sensual. And the most sensual is always the most effective. But our desires have more to contend with than ever before. Matter over mind; a love affair, our constant quest for stimulation.
The courage to stop, really: stop, itself, has become a discipline. What is it you actually want? Realise that and in one moment getting rid of all the crap becomes the only logical next step.
Twenty-five-year-old musician Shura heard it in a classic analogue synthesizer, the Juno-106. Out fly the acoustic folk musings from the days of her English Literature degree and in flows a determination to manipulate those keys.
“So I’m suddenly swapping the guitar, which I’ve played all my life, for a synthesizer I can’t play, just because I love the sound and knew I had to have one.”
The result was debut single ‘Touch’. Broken down, it’s little more than a slow-jam drum loop, sparse synthesizers and a careful, catchy melody that mourns an old flame: “You wanna touch me but you’re too late / You wanna touch me but there’s too much history.”
“You know when you find the meat and potatoes of your album? For me it was ‘Touch’. It was amazing, a massive relief. I felt like for the first time I’d found my zone. I’ve had producers email me since asking, ‘How the hell did you get that sound?’ I don’t know! I did weird things, it took a long time.”
The Internet approved. ‘Touch’ was an overnight sensation. A collective sigh for heartache cemented by the video that followed. A bare room, Shura’s friends kissing in super slow motion, all devised, directed and edited herself.
Five months on and we’re still waiting for more. Is there more? An enthusiastic nod follows. Loads apparently. For now though we have no choice, a well decided move. Clash listens to ‘Touch’ again and this time we notice the muted field recordings crackling in the background, voices murmuring, so we move even closer to her confessions until we’re one-on-one. Doesn’t get more sensual than that.
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WHERE: West London
WHAT: Sensual synth pop
GET THIS: ‘Touch’ (video above), 'Just Once'
FACT: Bound by a dictatorial dress code, Shura defied past employers by allowing her monobrow to grow wild and free. “What were they gonna do, shave my face?” Subtle anarchy. Bold.
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Words: Kim Hillyard
Photo: Christopher Fenner
Fashion: Candice Bailey