Nothing’s Real is Shura’s, real name Alexandra Lilah Denton, debut album. Overall, it incorporates hazy chilled out instrumentals with dreamy, floaty electronic pop.

The theme of nostalgia is prominent in the album, with an 80s influence weaved through songs such as ‘Nothing’s Real’. Shura cites Madonna as a musical influence. This is reflected in the title track, which captures a Madonna-esque feel whilst illustrating the experience of an anxiety attack.

The inclusion of audio from old childhood videos, dabbled throughout the album, also contributes to the nostalgic and personal feel. The calm instrumentals that accompany these recordings reflect a fondness for these memories. The childhood video samples also add a lo-fi dimension to the album, featured beautifully on the tracks ‘(i)’ and ‘(ii)’.

“Nothing’s Real encapsulates awkward, introverted youth: dealing with unrequited love and attempting to confess romantic feelings”

White Light’ is the penultimate track, an intricately woven floaty instrumental which, to begin with, evokes disco vibes. The lyrics plead for the night to never end: “I don’t mind if we never go never go home.”

Nothing’s Real encapsulates awkward, introverted youth: dealing with unrequited love and attempting to confess romantic feelings. These topics are juxtaposed with infectious pop disco music that makes you want to dance, like in ‘Indecision’. This difference is heightened by the heartbreak-infused ‘Kids N Stuff‘ transitioning straight into ‘Indecision’.

Similarly, the shyness portrayed in ‘2Shy’ is contrasted by ‘What’s It Gonna Be?’, a catchy, uplifting song brimming with the excitement of putting yourself out there. ‘2shy’ also explores the various stages of relationships and the destructive behaviour that sometimes comes with their ruin. There’s a mention of smoking; a behaviour Shura’s mum scolds her on in one of the audio samples.

“The candid, honest lyrics make this personal album feel like a progression through childhood to growing up…”

‘Touch’ discusses a longing for old relationships whilst recognising change and feelings of regret. Frustration is dealt with in ‘Tongue Tied’, with Shura repetitively singing “just say that you want me”, trying to convince a lover to confess their feelings. The experimental ‘The Space Tapes’ evokes a relaxing, chill wave vibe.

Overall, Nothing’s Real is an album brimming with songs that deserve to be played at every nightclub. The candid, honest lyrics make this personal album feel like a progression through childhood to growing up and the struggles that can accompany this.

This can all be supported by Shura’s mum, whose quote is displayed on promotional posters. I can totally agree – this album does get “better with every listen”.

Sarah Jenkins 

Image courtesy of Shura via Facebook

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