I was introduced to Sally Shapiro through a raving Pitchfork review, and I was initially a little hesitated to check out her music, mainly because 'italo disco' is a genre that I know nothing about, and from the sound of it I imagine it as those hardcore Eurotrash club music that is absolutely not my thing. Amazingly, the album turned out to be something I can enjoy.
To begin with, Sally Shapiro's not this girl's real name. She's so shy of the public that she never performs live, never gives real-life interviews, refuses to shoot a music video and not even lets her producer (Johan Agebjörn) be in the same room when she's recorded. That makes her a mystery, and a well-kept one at that (this kinda reminds me of The Knife? I guess it's a Swedish thing).
You would imagine her as the kind of girl who goes to nightclubs only to sit down quietly in a dark corner, away from all the flashy lights, sipping cocktail and looking at her own toes while everybody's dancing the night away. At first, she seems out of place, but then it shows that she's really just the other part of the crowd. That pretty much sums up how her music feels like.
With '80s strong beats and textural synths, the last thing I'd expect is an ethereal, shy-seeming voice breathing out melancholy melodies and bittersweet lyrics about love. The combination works like a charm, and the songs most of the time clock over 5 minutes, they don't feel repetitive at all. What gives them extra points is that the tunes are properly catchy enough to get stuck in your head, and after an amount of repeated listens, you may find yourself singing along, too.
She's definitely got a bright future ahead. A buzzworthy one.
Her label is kind enough to offer three best songs on the album as guilt-free mp3s ready for download, so I'd highly recommend you to give them a try and step back in time, if what I describe above (deep retro electro 'italo disco' synthpop!) sounds like what you could dig.
Sally Shapiro - I'll Be By Your Side
Sally Shapiro - I Know
Sally Shapiro - Anorak Christmas
You can check out either her MySpace, or the official site to sample more of her tracks.