Introducing the swirling indie-pop sounds of Shoeb Ahmad and latest single, romance
It's the second single from early 2018's new album, quiver.
Canberra-based instrumentalist Shoeb Ahmad is currently racing towards the early 2018 release of a new album called quiver. And after already hearing first single mask-ed last year, Ahmad has just unveiled latest single romance, a wonderfully swirling slice of dreamy, indie-pop sounds that we're not sure even really hints at what to expect from quiver. The label owner (helloSquare) has a single tour coming up to celebrate the release of romance, so you'll be able to get a much better idea if you can make it to one of those shows. We're just gonna bet on some great music, because so far both singles have been excellent, and also pleasingly brought to life in other ways by some exciting artists too.
Tell us about about yourself?
Aging gracefully and accepting all that comes before me, I’m a decade into being a musician – moving between improvising and songwriting at will. Most of my time is spent playing guitar, singing and making noise in bands such as Spartak and Tangents but at the moment, I’ve got a new solo album in the works called quiver and am promoting the new single romance. I’ve stayed put in Australia’s most underrated city (Canberra) because I enjoy being around nature and quietness without the severe isolation. There really is nothing better than being close to good food and also a short drive out into the sticks.
What kinda tunes we talkin’?
Tackling the awkwardly earnest genre to be known as “emo-soul” – deep minimalist grooves arranged around solid rhythms, knotty guitars and melancholic strings. Could be heard as strummy pop songs or slo-mo funk moments with a narrative about owning one’s identity.
A lot of the time it used to come from just improvising with the guitar and coming across something to hook into but these days, there is a distinct pattern where I might come up with a guitar part and then keep pondering about it in my mind to figure out the arrangements. This involves a lot of awkward beatboxing and humming in public spaces. However, this also leads to having something so complete that I can head into my home studio and just record all the layers in succinct fashion before getting the vocals down. With the new album, a lot of the words were written whilst singing along to the music and thinking about themes of identity but some were also adapted from short poems written before the music as well.
Can you tell us about your new single, romance:
If yr love for someone dear is strong, then you know you will be able to stay together through anything, regardless of circumstance and change. So really – love is love, don’t let the fuckers get you down because it’s not their concern how you and yr loved one are to live yr life.
Any shows coming up?
I start a short tour starting November 10 launching romance with a backing band that features members of great outfits such as Alphamale, Cracked Actor, Honey, Making, Pocket Fox and Tanned Christ. We’re playing smaller intimate spaces in Canberra, Sydney/Parramatta and Melbourne, which means we get to be up close and personal with the audience (full list down the bottom).
What’s the rest of the year have in store?
Once the tour finishes, I have an installation work opening at the Canberra Contemporary Arts Space in early December and then I’m getting geared up to put the final touches to quiver, the album that the recent singles are from. Busy times ahead, there’s always something to work on!
Where can we hear more of your music?
Fri 10 Nov - Mulgara, Canberra w/ Kellie Lloyd, Video Breezy + Sleeping Dogs
Sat 11 Nov - Beatdisc, Parramatta w/ Jess Locke + Kellie Lloyd
Sun 12 Nov - Monster Mouse, Sydney w/ Kellie Lloyd, Cat Heaven + Naif
Sat 18 Nov - Aeso Studio, Melbourne w/ Tilman Robinson, Make More + K