The song “north star” acknowledges the intertwinement of our lives and with others, in moments we share completely and movement we can only share partially: “I’m trying hard not to wake you up / I’m brushing my teeth / the door creaks in the morning / my gums just keep on bleeding”. Try as we might, we may never be known or know completely. But, following a north star, we find ourselves where we need to be – and hopefully they do too, “we don’t have to worry / he’s not in our lives anymore”.
Raw in emotion and production, quiet down is a resonant reflection of shut up voula’s journey with hurt and perception of self. Her debut album delicately traverses painful subjects of pain, blame, and the loss of people in the artist’s life.
“My process in creating this album was going through purposeful healing and writing songs about the things that were festering in my brain for a while, no matter how small,” said shut up voula. Tracks were recorded in their bedroom or bathroom, with an acoustic guitar, acoustic electric, or electric bass. The songs are as personal as the places they were created in.
“Creating this album really brought me to terms with the topics mentioned and brought myself closure,” said shut up voula. “I feel like it brought me close to a finish line, but the last home stretch is still a little treacherous, still working on replacing the grief with hope”. She sinks deeply into her own suffering with lyrics like “I could hate myself every day of the week and never learn my lesson” from the track “being embarrassing“. The conscientiousness etching this song and others echo in your chest.
Lyrics are molded by melodies that both heal and haunt. The first track, “mountain 74,” is filled with poignant hopes for a world without the twists and ties of a loved one inflicting their pain, “Don’t make me the victim of your act / I just wanted to believe you’d never want to hurt me”. Her voice lets emotion bleed through, and honesty hangs in the air.
In every track, shut up voula has lyrics that lift with emotion and find their grounding by clear imagery – it’s good poetry.
The final track on the album, “sunburn,” drifts away from the literal and – much like a sunburn – lingers and lies on feeling, “It came to me after getting a really bad sunburn and it feeling like the physical manifestation of my depression when it’s in its seething moments”.
Although words go unspoken by listeners, they’ll leave feeling heard by the hurt Voula explores with brutal honesty and hopes of healing.
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