Shuma's new EP is a tour-de-force of careless bliss and effortlessly cool stonegaze.
Recently, we took a lungful of Jude Shuma‘s recent music video for Float, revelling in the stoner-tinged psychedelic acoustics that convened with a shoegaze-esque vocal effect and ensnaring rhythms. It was an enjoyable experience, and now Shuma is back to deliver another hit. In fact, Shuma is declaring his new EP as his Biggest Hits. A bold presumption, but how true is it?
In short, very. Shuma has a flair for delivering tracks that channel the very essence of bliss itself and his new EP exemplifies this skill flawlessly. While Float does remain the pinnacle of the EP, the other three tracks add nuances to Shuma’s cool careless soundscapes to prevent this from being the musical equivalent of a whiteout. Attention remains from start to finish and, while listeners might occasionally feel like they’re slipping beyond the veil of the ether and reaching spiritual enlightenment, Shuma always finds a way to remain the focus.
Opening track Love Drugs is a flawless example. Kicking off as an upbeat, lilting acoustic-indie track, the instrumental refrains of the track soon break it down to a much more insular level. During these breaks of swirling guitar riffs and constant drums, Shuma disrupts his own elevatory soundscape with occasional noises and snippets of word. They’re only background sounds, but they’re enough to grip attention back from the blissful abyss.
Likewise, sombre-esque closing track Mindfuzz sets itself on a forward trajectory from the moment it begins, but it is always a battle against a blissful element that risks throwing listeners. Again, Shuma indulges the chill for a little while – the climactic instrumental certainly lends itself to being stuck on a loop in the background of a shisha bar – but draws it back once more with an oddly abrupt finish and some faux ‘endearingly-tagged-on-and-unedited’ studio chatter to alert listeners that it is over.
This is what sets Shuma aside from many other artists attempting to do something similar. Too many artists are happy to indulge in the shimmering swirls of psychedelic or shoegaze sounds and draw each track out for extended periods of time. In keeping everything punchy and concise (the longest track being Float at four minutes) and ensuring that listeners who zone out in the psychedelic sounds are subtly brought back, Shuma makes himself unique – a quality missing in many of today’s psychedelic hopefuls.
You can listen to Biggest Hits on Jude Shuma’s official website.