• Travis Salviejo

Premiere: Shoeb Ahmad - flaw, featured

I have only had the good pleasure of seeing Shoeb Ahmad play solo once and it was incredible, but the production of flaw, featured was a real surprise to me. Where I was expecting guitars, drums and some synths I got pulsating almost dance club synth lines and almost noise style samples. The one beautiful constant though is that beautiful voice showing a whole range of emotions and levels of intensity that make you lean in at times and blow you away at others. The opening drone is a great way to catch listeners ears before the industrial drums come in instantly making the body move.

The inclusion of guitars is sparingly but brilliantly done here adding almost a second harmony between vocal parts, working to add emotional colour to the song. The feeling of the song is really interesting, the groove is so fun and makes you move but the harmonic elements and the noise samples colours everything in darker tones, a really interesting contrast.

Not surprisingly for fans of Shoeb Ahmad’s previous work the lyrics on this one are expertly crafted using intense imagery that deals with the authors own struggles of feeling out of place in the world and feeling out of place in yourself, themes that will continue in the full release. Featured on the track are instrumental contributions from Rupert Thomas (Erasers, Leaving) and Peter Hollo (Tangents) and instrumentally this song really is a standout the subtlety of the bass the almost country smoothness of the electric guitar and the almost seductive tone of voice interplay brilliantly with the harsh backing track. Blending gritty sounds with expert and well metered production is a difficult thing to do well but this blends it so well in a way that is harsh yet appealing to listen to.

Despite what you’ve seen

I’ve just found who I’m supposed to be

These steps to correct things

Sets me free but without ease

This track will be available for pay what you want as of Monday 21 September (that’s tomorrow on the day of this being published) and the download includes two astounding alternative tracks by Darkwave doom trio Potential and ambient artists Alaska Orchestra making it a real more bang(ers) for your buck so make sure you go check that out.

But as well as that this track is just an introduction into the full-length release from Shoeb Ahmad coming I hope very soon. This is particularly exciting because it is the artist’s first solo work since the 2018 release quiver and the sound of this song really shows a period of growth for the artist that I am excited to see more of on the full length release A Body Full of Tears.

You can find Shoeb Ahmad on Facebook / Instagram / Spotify / Bandcamp