Canadian Duo Sultan + Shepard Release New Album “Forever, Now”
If you’re looking for a slow electronic album that will get you in your feels, look no further than the latest Sultan+Shepard album Forever Now. The album was met with critical acclaim from the electronic community, particularly fans of melodic house and progressive music. The album features heavenly soundscapes, shimmering synths and gorgeous vocals. When people hear the term “electronic music”, they often think of intense EDM club and dancefloor music. Sultan+Shepard’s latest work is anything but that, as the duo gives you something that you can sit and reflect along with.
The opening track, “Sirens” is calming and has some low, quiet beats that drive the song. It contains a lot of lo fi elements to it. The song is reflective and introspective and hits the listener with a slight tinge of sadness.
“Making Time” instrumentally has a similar structure to the first song. The song features guest vocals from Julia Church. The lyric in the song talks about how the singer feels like someone they love isn’t making enough time for them. Whenever they need them, they seem to be busy. Yet they are always making time for other people. At the same time, when they need help the singer is there for them. Julia Church laments this unbalance in the relationship with beautiful, serene vocals. The song harbors sentiments that many of us can relate to. A lot of times we chase after people that do not return the same energy that we give them.
“Losing Ground” features vocals from Tishmal who implores if someone will stay with them through their hard times and when they feel like the world is crashing around them. The song features a series of gorgeous synths, which build up to a steady drop. The song is more engaging and livelier than the first two, but a hint of sadness is still present in it.
“Elenore” continues the pattern of gorgeous synths with heavenly vocals. On this track, we are blessed by the singing of Andrew Belle. Belle’s vocals are unbelievably haunting and have a very Bon Iver feel to them. The lyrics show a person struggling with love. They seem to want and not want to hear from someone. The other person’s love seems to be seemingly out of reach, and the singer instead wants to shut themselves off from everything.
“Concord”, “Neptune” and “RnR”, like the first track are all instrumentals. “Concord” has numerous repeating synths. “Neptune” features the same, with a steady drumbeat. “Neptune” is a lot more upbeat and livelier than most of the other songs. It sounds like something that you would have on your running playlist. “RnR” is also higher tempo. However, the song is not in your face energy, with blaring beats drops. It presents its energy and liveliness in a quieter and more subtle way.
“This album came together mostly because we really had such an amazing experience releasing our last album. We loved that process and the reception so much that we were really inspired to do it again. It was very much informed by being out and on the road and playing shows…being in a place where we felt free to explore our creativity and try new things. The concept of Forever, Now is really wherever we were in this place of creativity and feeling present in that spot. It felt like this sort of eternal creative moment for us.”
Sultan+Shepherd is an electronic duo from Montreal. The two were both McGill students who were also DJs. Shepard would hand Sultan a CD that contained his music. Sultan was impressed and immediately expressed a desire to work with him. This was what brought along the formation of the duo.
Sultan+Shepard operate primarily along the confines of electronic and house music. Despite this, they have a wide variety of music influences that range from Blondie to Fatboy Slim. They are known for their remixes as well as their original songs. In 2013, they were nominated for a Grammy award for their remix of Bruno Mars’ “Locked out of Heaven”.
Forever, Now is a beautifully nuanced album. It is an album that will allow you to reflex and contemplate, it is an album that allows you to examine things going on in your life. The duo is currently on tour, and you can find tickets on their website. Make sure to follow them on their socials to continue supporting them!
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