Music Review: Shura's Forevher

Shura first became a big name in the indie electronic scene back in 2016, when she debuted her album Nothing's Real. Made with a combination of lush eighties synths, punchy beats, and punky electric guitar, it struck the hearts of many who love throwback pop music, and it really really struck the hearts of queer woman. Shura's debut music video for her gentle love song "Touch" was a montage of woman kissing under soft, blue light. Her following music video, "What's it Gonna Be?" begins with a '90s high school feel, and shows you, sometimes, the one who you were in love with was your best friend all along. With the synthesizes and her breathy voice, Shura soon gained the nickname of "the lesbian Madonna" among her most devoted fans. Three years since her debut, her newest album Forevher (emphasis on the her) is full of just as much love and longing as her debut. Her second album retains her strong electronic influences, but also finds her experimenting with more organic sounds, piano, and harmony.

image via Shura's Instagram

From its beginning, Forevher flirts between the line of a singer-songwriter and electronic sounds. The opening track, "Side Effects," starts with an auto-tuned verse and leads into a strong and punchy piano chorus. The album then dives straight into the two biggest singles, "religion (u can lay your hands on me)" and "BKLYNDN." If you've never seen a music video starring a copious amount of queer nuns, feel free to check out the "religion" music video. Though the beginning of the album is heavy with singles, Shura maintains a good flow throughout the album's composition, interspersing major key hits with sparse and gentle introspection, like the track "tommy" or "that's me, just a sweet melody." 

Image via Shura's Instagram

Surprisingly, I found myself loving the quieter second side of the album more intensely than the second. On "princess leia," she ruminates, "when Princess Leia died I was also in the sky. How can I be sure I'm still alive? Maybe I died when Carrie Fisher died." "princess leia" then leads into my favorites track of the album, "flyin," which reintroduces the theme of accepting your sexuality regardless of what religion thinks. She sings "I read it in a Bible, when I was just a kid. I didn't understand it, does anyone think, a virgin had a baby, it's crazy, do you hate me? Just because, I am in love." The title track of the album, "forever," is one of the only major key tracks on the second half of the album and is the climax to Forevher. Shura then fizzles out quietly on the last tracks with the sleepy "control" and "skyline, be mine."

Overall, Forevher is a graceful maturation in Shura's sound that finds her experimenting with new influences and carrying narrative threads throughout. I'd recommend it to anybody who enjoyed her first album, as well as fans of alternative pop and singer-songwriters.

Final Verdict: Shura's reinvention is packed with both tenderness and energy, perfect for pop and alternative fans alike.

Top Tracks: "side effects," "princess leia," and "flyin"