Shura’s ‘forevher’ is an intrinsic redefinition of the modern love story. It dissolves perceived boundaries of gender and sexuality, acting as an emotional blank canvas onto which listeners can project their emotions.
Born in the early stages of a burgeoning transatlantic relationship, and assembled in London alongside a close-knit circle of new and old collaborators - co-produced alongside Joel Pott (who’s worked with the likes of George Ezra, Mabel and London Grammar), the album is fascinating and hopeful. It is also an intimate portrait of two lovers.
The upbeat echo of ‘Side Effects’ sets the scene, a battle cry for moving on, a release from the emotional restraints of past relationships. ‘Religion’ is another unashamed call for positivity and self-love, a self-described queer sex-jam. Such positivity is a far cry from 2016’s lonesome debut LP ‘Nothing’s Real’.
‘The Stage’ is almost childlike in its cheery optimism. Inspired by Shura and her now-girlfriend’s first date, it quite literally details an aura of dream-like escapism. Shouts of “We don’t wanna dance, we just wanna” are euphoric, and this sense of elation is apparent throughout the project - a meaningful elucidation of a modern transatlantic relationship.
As with all successful relationships, newfound exploration must evolve into a deep love. ‘Flying’ provokes a far softer feeling, a sense of serious intimacy, and such emotions are continued in ‘Forever’ - a plea for eternal togetherness. However, embedded in this high euphoria is a feeling of pressure. As love blossoms, one has far more to lose. The expressive synths and poignant lyricism of ‘Princess Leia’ express this sensation best.
The songwriting is also poignant in its dissolution of gender and sexuality. Historically, love songs favour the heterosexual, too often have people felt forced to attach their narratives to the pronoun of the opposit gender. This album is purposely ambiguous. By omitting such boundaries, it offers a storyline recognisable to everyone. Love is universal!
It was in the basement of a Minneapolis house when Shura began talking to her current girlfriend online. ‘forevher’ is an ode to an America threatened of social inequality and mass injustice, reimagining it in a far more romantic manner. ‘Skyline’ is reflective of this, powerful, dark and Depeche Mode-like. To Shura, behind its current government and institutions lies an America that’s actually full of hope, the country that bore her most valuable asset: love that sees no boundaries. ‘forevher’ is just like this - an album for everyone.
Words: Charlie Barnes
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