Album review: Shura – Nothing’s Real


With incredible cover art and a growing reputation to maintain, Shura’s 2016 album Nothing’s Real was released on July 8th and is already causing quite a stir.

Shura-2016Her brand of introverted, unconventional pop music has gained her a massive online following. She recently sang on The Other Stage at Glastonbury, as well as playing keys and a sampler. After the introduction floats in, echoes of guitars and a far away voice paint a hazy picture. The upbeat style of What’s It Gonna Be? that follows is a surprise, but her impeccable songwriting and vocal delivery blur the lines between the two. Energetic disco dominates the vibe of title track Nothing’s Real, with heavy Madonna and Blondie references throughout. For an artist whose music is often melancholy or ambient, it’s a brave choice – but one that has worked out. Shura fans will be delighted to see that 2014’s Touch is included, a track that is a real representation of her roots. The romance of this humble but beautiful piece was reflected in its video, featuring purely footage of kissing couples, and has so far totalled over 26 million views.

From here on in it is difficult to pick a favourite; not that this is due to lack of choice, though. Kidz ‘n’ Stuff continues with the spacious and laid-back soundscapes, before picking the pace back up with Indecision and indie-tinged What Happened to Us? that would sound at home on a Killers release. Other artists who seem to have influenced Shura for this project are newcomer Låpsley, Jessie Ware and even FKA Twigs in places. She channels some dubstep and hip-hop fusion at one point, as well as giving a nod to classic 70’s and 80’s pop; proving herself as a versatile musician once again.

This is an album which has managed to satisfy the need for some classic Shura sounds, as well as breaking the mould slightly with some new direction. The majority of which is pulled off very comfortably; she has retained her shy style with some incredibly bold moments in there too. Recommended listening on a decent pair of over ear headphones, pop down to your local Richer Sounds to make up your own mind.