Courtesy of John Ellis
There’s a sort of numbing catharsis that comes with heartbreak. When a relationship ends, it can almost feel as if the heart has withered like a rose dried out in the sun too long. And yet heartache leaves something inimitably beautiful in its place, something intangible that Brooklyn’s SHEARE manages to capture on his latest, “R I P.”
On the dreamy, mid-tempo pop tune premiering exclusively on PopCrush, the artist—née Brandon Sheer—discovers that breakups are always bittersweet, and that while they’re painful, they can also bring with them a sense of peace.
Over a lush soundbed of glitching beats, vocal chirps and atmospheric electronics, SHEARE emotes in his signature, soaring falsetto, “Do you think about, think about me / Think about the lives that we both lead? / I hope you found just what you needed.”
It’s a heart-wrenching, all-too-relatable sentiment. Listen below:
Ahead of the release of SHEARE’s new EP, TURBULENCE, we caught up with the artist to find out more about his musical influences, what it takes to craft the perfect pop hook and the difficulty of navigating a bad breakup.
What’s the story behind “R I P”?
To me, “R I P” is the most honest and introspective song on the EP. I wrote it about being nostalgic about a relationship that had ended. The thing about nostalgia is you can get trapped in this cycle of longing for something that doesn’t actually exist anymore. It’s a double edged sword in a way when a long-term relationship ends because you wind up losing someone you were romantically linked with as well as a best friend. (That sounded super emo. I swear I’m okay now, ha!)
Your EP, TURBULENCE, is inspired by the dissolution of a long-term relationship. What sort of emotions did you go through while writing something so intimate?
It was a bit weird at first honestly. I had become used to writing pop songs that felt very summer-y and light hearted in a way. For a long time I think I avoided writing about the situation so that when I finally was ready to face the reality, I couldn’t write about anything else. It had caught up to me.
I think the thing that stands out most for me about your music is that you always incorporate an indelible hook! How do you know when you’ve crafted the perfect hook?
Well thank you! I basically just compare what I wrote to anything Max Martin has done in the last 10 years, tell myself I suck, then come to a middle ground of less suck-age and say, “Ya, I think that’s pretty alright!” I think it’s just a gut feeling. When I wake up in the morning humming my own song not realizing it’s my own song, I usually know that I’m on to something.
Which artists growing up inspired you to go into pop?
I think my parents were always playing artists like Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles. All artists who are extremely melodic with their approach to songwriting. As strange as it sounds Nirvana was a HUGE influence for me growing up. They weren’t crafting “pop hooks” in the sense that we think of what’s on the radio today, but even the unmistakable snare fill in “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was, to me, a pop hook.
Does the EP mark a moment of catharsis for you?
Definitely. I kind of knew after writing the EP that I had written songs that weren’t as “obvious” or “immediate” as my last few singles, but that’s what I was after. I wanted a darker, more introspective sound for the EP. It exists in its own world and now I’m going back to writing things slightly happier-feeling.
How do you hope people will feel after listening to TURBULENCE?
I think relationships and love and the lack thereof is a universal topic. I hope people can relate to it the way I related to The Smiths when I listened to their music or even—and I’m going to dare use the C-word—Coldplay made me feel when I first heard “The Scientist.”
TURBULENCE will be released May 12.
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