Shura Unveils New track ‘Just Once’

July 25, 2014


Shura – ‘Just Once’
“One of 2014’s most endless tracks…soul-searing” Pitchfork
“Soft, vaguely 70s/80s pop filtered through 90s R&B…You will love it” Fader
“Shura takes it to a whole new level” NME
“A sit-up-and-listen debut” Sunday Times
“Prepare to be blown away” Nylon

Shura has today premiered a brand new song, ‘Just Once’. This follows breakout debut track ‘Touch’, which picked up over a million plays across Youtube and Soundcloud, went Top 3 on Hype Machine and received early spins from Radio 1. Shura will announce further remix and video plans for ‘Just Once’ shortly, as well as details of her first official live shows (a set at Iceland’s Airwaves Festival has been confirmed for November, alongside the likes of Jungle, The War on Drugs and Caribou).

Warm, affecting and universal, ‘Touch’ was quickly hailed as one of the standout new songs of the year, and hinted at the arrival of a major new talent. On ‘Just Once’, Shura confirms that promise. It’s a more upbeat but no less melancholic mix of Janet Jackson with the intricate productions of Warpaint, or the effortless groove of early Madonna – all carried by Shura’s velvet-like vocals. Lyrically, ‘Just Once’ is in many ways a prequel to the break-up blog-anthem that was ‘Touch’: it’s a snapshot of a relationship which isn’t working, and imagines being swept up with someone new, where you can be whoever you want to be. Full of sensuality and self-doubt – “If you get my name wrong / I won’t get pissed off / ‘Cos I wish I was somebody else” – Shura again achieves the immediately-recognisable, ghost-like quality of a shared romantic experience: ‘Just Once’ is that dual sensation of fresh attraction, mixed with the memory of meeting past loves.

A performer, producer, remixer and video editor, Shura was born in Moscow to a Russian actress (who made a cameo in ‘Mission Impossible’) and an English documentary filmmaker. Whilst her early demos started at University in London, Shura’s passion for music came via her brother, who would DJ drum-and-bass at the weekends, and installed an early love of electronic music in his sister. Keen to impress him, Shura began building her own songs, refining her production skills and immersing herself in the textured sounds of Massive Attack or Blood Orange. Her songwriting found its focus in South America, where Shura worked in The Amazon for an extended period after her studies – contemplating past relationships, future music, and walking pumas.

The lightbulb-moment was ‘Touch’, the first in a romantic saga which is already connecting with audiences far beyond the small Shepherds Bush bedroom in which it was brought to life (paramedics, soldiers and synasthaesiacs were among those who got in contact). Shura’s mother initially felt the song was a bit too simple, but later rang to affirm that it gets better with every listen. “The response blew me away,” Shura says now, whose group of friends – volunteering to be filmed kissing for their mate’s DIY music video – suddenly found themselves being turned into gifs. “I wanted to create an unpolished song, with an unpolished sentiment.” It’s this personal but playful twist on the often-luxurious world of R&B which have seen Shura, slowly growing in confidence, emerge as one of the brightest new talents of the year – and not just once.

November 5-9 Iceland Airwaves Festival

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