Deconstructing molecules and slowly reassembling them on a sonic field seems to comes easy for Dundee-based artist and producer SHHE. Home to the alter-ego and moniker of Su Shaw, the Scottish-Portuguese artist displays profound songwriting, raw enrichment, and at times brooding, electronic soundscapes with “EMMA.” Taken from her self-titled debut album, due October 11 via One Little Indian Records, the track echoes an unhealthy relationship from the inside out — one of many elements that come with change and is heard on the album.
A flat line pulse pulls the thread for the first few seconds of the track. Manipulating the uncertainty of silence and of a slow build, “EMMA” begins to take shape around the opaque. A contemplative bassline grips tightly and controls the down-tempo beat which ground SHHE’s airy vocals. Upon each breath that pushes out the lines, there’s an unwavering essence of compassion and confusion, (“I was feeling weak / you took strength from me”), dwindling with pain and yet, a promising future. If you take anything from the mind of Emma, take the notion that starting over is always an option while still breathing.
“This is not a song about unrequited love. It’s about something that feels more destructive,” explains SHHE. “There’s an internal drone that you hear from the beginning, this constant reminder, an uneasiness. It feels a bit symptomatic of motion sickness. It’s overpowering. And there are all these mixed messages, this confusing build up of hopefulness and hopelessness.”
“It’s about a relationship that is unhealthy. You still have unanswered questions and you’re still trying to make sense of everything. The track is about the aftermath of that. It’s about letting go. It’s about seeing things how they really are. It’s about reclaiming strength through that process.”
SHHE is released on October 11 via One Little Indian Records and is available to preorder here.