Today sees the release of ‘Saint Cyrus’ by SHHE – the alter-ego of Scottish-Portuguese artist and producer SU Shaw, who wraps carefully constructed electronic soundscapes around delicate yet self-assured vocals. ‘Saint Cyrus’ is the follow-up to debut single ‘Eyes Shut’, which saw the artist signing a record deal with One Little Indian Records and opening for Kathryn Joseph on her February UK tour.
“’Saint Cyrus’ is named after the area that I was living in at the time – in the same house that I wrote and recorded the entire record,” says SHHE. “The house backed onto a main road so recording during the day wasn’t possible. Most of the vocals were recorded during the night. The synth line which enters half way through the track was also recorded during this time, half awake, half asleep. I only recorded one take, that’s the take that you hear on the record.”
“The track is in constant transition. When I wrote it, I was thinking a lot about identity. How no one is ever complete. Things are added, taken away, obscured, manipulated; certain characteristics, behaviours.”
“The track is in constant transition,” she continues. “When I wrote it, I was thinking a lot about identity. How no one is ever complete. Things are added, taken away, obscured, manipulated; certain characteristics, behaviours. In the track there are parts that disintegrate, disappear, are reintroduced elsewhere. But the words stay the same. Living there (in Saint Cyrus) was the only constant when everything else was in transition at the time. I think that environment encouraged a lot of change in my life.”
The outro to ‘Saint Cyrus’ – which was mixed by Robin Sutherland and mastered by Heba Kadry – is made up of layers of disconcerting, visceral movements of sound, tugging the song in multiple directions as synths and drums oscillate between the ears, smothered with lilting melodies that linger long after they are heard. The accompanying video features Katie James and Beth James, and was co-directed by Harry Clark and Shaw, with filming and editing by Clark.
SHHE’s self-titled debut album is due for release on 11 October via One Little Indian Records.