Shura: Forevher review – long-distance love songs with heart and soul
It was obvious to anyone with a pair of ears that Shura’s 2016 debut album, Nothing’s Real, was something special. Through a series of lo-fi, electronica-tinged bedroom pop songs, the UK/Russian singer offered herself up as a confessional emissary for the anxiety-ridden outsider.
Forevher is even more pronounced and personalised, a concept record initially about the complications of a long-distance relationship with her girlfriend that, gradually, through the power of yearning, transforms into something much more important.
While Nothing’s Real presents instantly delirious, considerately woven pop songs, Forevher embraces change. The sonic framework here is more Prince and soul sisters such as Minnie Riperton and Roberta Flack, but it is the way in which Shura reflects the soul-searching depths of Joni Mitchell (also directly referenced by the album cover’s blue tone) and Laura Nyro that seals the deal.
Shura - Religion (U Can Lay Your Hands on Me)
Songs such as Religion (U Can Lay Your Hands on Me), BKLYNLDN, Princess Leia and Skyline, Be Mine highlight love and its development via the contemporary sieve of Skype heart-to-hearts, texting and dating apps. The songs’ potent self-expression comes from Shura’s queer perspective, but the sweeping universality of love underpins everything.