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Sally Shapiro Announce 12″ ‘Rent’ due September 20th Digitally & October 6th Physically via Italians Do It Better

September 7, 2023


Announce 12″ ‘Rent’ due Sept 20th digitally & Oct 6th physically via Italians Do It Better

Swedish synthpop duo Sally Shapiro (made up of Sally Shapiro and Johan Agebjörn) announce a new 12″ ‘Rent‘ co-mixed by Johnny Jewel, which is out Sept 20th digitally & Oct 6th physically via Italians Do It Better and have shared the title-track, covering Pet Shop Boys, online now.

On the single, Johan offered “I am a longtime fan of Pet Shop Boys and have been thinking from time to time about covering some PSB song, without any clear idea of how to do it. Suddenly it became apparent that the melancholic and painfully beautiful harmonies of ‘Rent’ would suit our style perfectly, and I started playing a synth line over the chorus.”

Johnny Jewel added “Sally Shapiro’s cover of this Pet Shop Boys classic keeps the original close to the heart. Emphasizing the baroque leanings of the chord progression, they take it further with a 16th note melody careening over icy pads. The result is a Synthwave skyline scraping the upper atmosphere in the never-ending race to survive the first of the month. It’s a twisted tale of the politics of economy in relationships where the currency is love. Sally’s crystalline coo glides over Johan’s elegant Italo production as the bass line anchors the galloping rhythm section. Home is where the heart is…but shelter comes first in this game of love.”

Sally added “We also think the lyrics to Rent are intriguing, how the singer – in our version, a mistress – tries to convince herself that she’s happy, while the melancholy shines through. Pet Shop Boys is also very much childhood nostalgia for me.”

Johan was a member of the Pet Shop Boys Club as a child, and even got a penpal request published in the official fanclub magazine in 1993. Johan said “I received numerous answers! I had a pretty long correspondence with a fan from the UK.”

The new cover showcases the innovative touch of Sally Shapiro, whilst still capturing the nostalgia which inhibits the original, this rendition of “Rent” has this modern synth touch and dazzling air that emits from the Shapiro energy, undeniably immersive. A deeply consuming cut that sweeps the listener into the midst of the growing and expressive landscape, built on this sincere foundation of multiple moving layers. Intricate synth notes, textures and this complex groove provide the stirring momentum for this track whilst the ethereal vocal harmonies soar through the cosmic soundscape.

17 years ago, Sally Shapiro shared their first song online. Blogs & record labels immediately took notice and Italians Do It Better’s introduction to the pair was I’ll Be By Your Side, a shimmering Italo Disco track with ethereal vocals that hypnotised everyone who heard it. Johan’s elegant production was years ahead of what anyone else was doing at the time, & the elusive falsetto of the dreamlike singer was unforgettable.

In 2007, their debut album, Disco Romance, was revered by the press. The album was given a spot in Pitchfork’s Top 50 albums of 2007 & is even ranked as the best italo disco album of all time on rateyourmusic.com. Their sound was a unique take on the romantic club music of the mid 1980’s. At the time you could count the artists exploring this territory on one hand. Johnny Jewel began corresponding with Johan later that year resulting in Johan’s remix of Glass Candy’s “The Chameleon“.

Their debut album saw remixes by other likeminded producers like Lindstrøm, Tensnake, Junior Boys, CFCF, & Juan MacLean. In 2009, My Guilty Pleasure, picks up where Disco Romance left off. They collaborated with Electric Youth (known from the ”Drive” soundtrack) on their third album Somewhere Else in 2013.

Johan is a fixture on European dance floors collaborating with Lindstrøm, Glass Candy, Annie, Wolfram, Hercules & Love Affair, & more. In 2018 he produced the addictive Samantha Fox single “Hot Boy”. Sally is notoriously shy, remaining shrouded in anonymity. To this day she insists on recording her vocals alone in the studio & refuses to perform her songs live. In 2016, the duo went underground & released what was thought to have been their final single. Working in deep seclusion over the last half decade, they released “Sad Cities”, an incredible collection out in 2022 via Italians Do It Better, to critical acclaim. They also appeared on Italians Do It Better’s Madonna cover compilation (with ”Holiday”) and on last year’s After Dark 4.

‘Rent’ will also feature on Sally Shapiro’s new album, which is currently in the works.

‘Rent’ 12″ track list:
A1 Rent (Extended Mix)
A2 Believe In Me (Italoconnection Remix)
B1 Rent (NICOLAAS Remix) feat. Steve Moore
B2 Rent (Instrumental)


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