The measure of good music is characterised by various things for different people. For some, it’s the thought or intent behind each note that defines the piece. For some, it’s the production and for others, it’s the writing. And therein lies the beauty of Pune-based singer-songwriter/ producer, Shuman’s new EP, Shadows Hold the Cure.
A short listen, Shuman’s latest release is a collection of four tracks – ‘Time Within’, ‘Cure’, ‘Doesn’t Feel Like The End’, and ‘Come To Me’. Special mention is made of the length primarily because you will definitely wish it wouldn’t end. Spanning genres and moods, Shadows Hold the Cure is a mix of carefully put together synthwave, chillwave and retro elements. Shuman’s vocals come in to complement each track with deliberate ease.
Still, the most captivating moments on this catalogue present themselves in Shuman’s lyrical prowess. Contemplative throughout, each track is an exposing exercise in self-reflection. To be fair, when a project opens with the lines, “Time within my hands, but in this moment, I feel stuck”, you know you’re in for a ride aboard the vulnerability rollercoaster. Shuman sets the tone early on and runs with it.
On the mellow sonic waves of ‘Cure’, he croons, “If you’re for real, it’s time to show”. On ‘It Doesn’t Feel Like The End’, accompanied by soulful guitar riffs, he writes, “Bittersweet like a maple tree, I sit under you and learn how to be”. And, then, over the groove of ‘Come To Me’, he delivers a surprising rap that explores some of his deepest inner dialogues.
While the very nature of art is to create space for resonance; to give the listener/ watcher/ beholder an insight into the artist’s world, the listening experience that accompanies this EP is a bit disarming. It’s almost as if Shuman has opened up the pages to his personal journal for all to see.
Shadows Hold The Cure is an intimate project in every sense of the word, in that there’s something to learn if you just look close enough.