Shura has today released stunning second album forevher, which is available now on Secretly Canadian via Rhythmethod. Featuring beautiful returning track 'BKLYNLDN', acclaimed first single 'religion (u can lay your hands on me)' and fan-favorite 'the stage', the album's next single has been confirmed as 'side effects'.
Written primarily about Shura's relationship with her girlfriend and their long-distance conception, forevher traces everything from the initial pull of desire to that first IRL meeting ('the stage'), before recognising when the connection develops into something scarily meaningful. It's a classic NYC-to-London love-story, but one told through the totally modern filter of dating apps, unanswered texts, Skype chats.
Early praise for forevher
"Inserting queer love into the cis-hetero romantic narratives that have dominated western culture for millennia – and it works"- Loud & Quiet
"Wonderful…long-distance it may be, but this love has worked wonders"- Sunday Times Culture
"A sensual departure…tactile pop practitioner"- Guardian Guide
"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"- Dork ****
Like the best second albums, forevher is as full of surprises as it is faithful to an artist still laying her innermost hopes and fears on the line. On her 2016 debut, Nothing's Real, the half-Russian singer, songwriter and producer became an accidental ambassador for the lonesome and rejected. Its themes of anxiety, unrequited romance, and the outsider were articulated in fantastical bedroom-pop, which earned Shura an impassioned global fanbase. Unsurprisingly, if you'd have told her just a few years ago that she'd make a follow-up exploring "all that love is" few would have been as surprised as herself. And whilst how to live – and love – as a queer woman has always been integral to Shura, it's remarkable to hear the timeless stories of forevher twisted into new sonic fabric: this time around, the influence of Joni Mitchell, The Internet, and Carole King formed the basis of a record that (despite its universal theme) still in many ways runs counter to the dominant cultural narratives.
Co-produced alongside Joel Pott - with musical turns from Jona Ma (from Jagwar Ma), Will Miller (Whitney), T-E-E-D and additional vocals from Rosie Lowe, Kerry Leatham, Reva from Nimmo - Shura describes forevher as "a soul record, sung by someone who doesn't have a traditional soul voice. And I quite enjoy the antagonism of that." A passionate, tactile album about the connection in times of distance, that unmistakable feeling is apparent from just a glance at the album's artwork, which reworks Rodin's The Kiss to feature two women bathed in an all-encompassing blue. "I wanted to create something that people could look at, in the way that you look at The Kiss, and think: I recognize that. Or I want that, or I crave that, or I miss that. I wanted to make something that was specific to my experience of being a queer woman that anyone of any gender or sexuality could look at and think 'yeah, I understand' or 'that's beautiful.' Because that's all love is."