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Album review: Shura - Nothing's Real

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★★★

Two year's after the release of her debut single, 'Touch', hotly tipped pop sensation Shura’s debut record, Nothing’s Real, has arrived.

Shura - Nothing's Real Shura has been one to watch for a while. The release of the desirous, disco-infused ‘Touch’ created a buzz that has slowly grown, culminating in Shura being included in the BBC Sound of 2015 poll.

The ‘one-to-watch’ label burdened the release with the weight of expectation - but it doesn’t disappoint.

Intelligently produced, well tempered and rife with candid, relatable lyrics this is a proper pop record. The glittering release has been meticulously put together, with impossibly elegant electronic production meaning each track runs fluidly into the next.

The overarching themes of love and longing, along with the sophisticated songwriting, makes Nothing’s Real a thrilling listen; from the opening electronic whirs of album opener ‘(i)’, which launches straight into the alternative disco anthem ‘Nothing’s Real’ you know you’re onto a winner.

Lyrically Nothing’s Real is refreshingly honestly.

From the confident ‘Tongue Tied’ that depicts relatable yearning (“don’t walk away wondering what could have been, when I know you want me”) to the brazenly honesty of title track ‘Nothing’s Real’ (“I see my heartbeat inside a television screen/my body’s not connecting”) which was written after Shura experienced a panic attack, each stanza has been carefully thought through.

Throughout, the sleepy, gauzy synths and clean guitar lines dreamily interweave, creating an idyllic, hazy soundscape, that’s punctuated by vibrant disco interjections at just the right time, before the blissful haze becomes a stifling smog.

The effervescent ‘What’s It Gonna Be?’ is one of such exclamations. The 80s disco laden offering, with its relentless, galloping percussion breaks the sultry mist that’s been created through the record’s sophisticated construction with Shura boldly asking “what’s it gonna be” in the track’s huge, sing-a-long chorus.

Nothing’s Real’s lyrics may speak of insecurity and vulnerability, but the album is a self assured, coherent release, full of fantastically crafted pop music.

Infused with 80s synthesisers and melodic lines, Shura’s produced a hugely pleasing debut, which is ready made for the festival stage.




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