R.SHE - CITY OF ME - Stereo Stickman



This is good – really good. CITY OF ME leads with an already vastly streamed single that’s quick to connect and impress, and consistently furthers that reach in a number of brilliantly creative, passionately devoted ways.

Setting the vibe, proving deeply revealing, personal yet accessible, and – quite simply – addictive in groove and melody; SOMEDAY is ideal as an opener.

R.SHE blends the classic and contemporary world of shoegaze, indie and even modern emo-pop with this sound. The guitar and rhythm present a mood of contemplation and warmth, the vocal proceeds to offer detail and self-reflection in strong supply – long-form outpourings that are forever new, yet which always resolve in true pop fashion with the satisfying rise and fall of that hook.

From that opening song, we’re in a realm of indie alternative blessings akin to the likes of Sticky Fingers or Will and The People. However, the shoegaze wash of reverb, and the storytelling – even the dynamic of the vocal flow – all leans a little more towards the contemporary mainstream. The balance works well, appealing to the indie vets whilst soaking up the emotion of the moment on a broader scale.

The EP continues in this unpredictable manner, the sudden pace and weight of ADDICTED already shining light on another side to the elusive and captivating R.SHE.

Catchy melodies and fearlessly vulnerable lyrics accompany the soulful and faultless presence of that voice, depicting a leader of the artform that fans can trust in.

Contrast is masterfully utilised, from delicacy to distortion, and from long-form, seemingly freestyle meanderings to the simple, concise finish of the hook – these are the calling cards that elevate this project; alongside scene setting, stories and relatable feelings of desire and uncertainty combined.

By this point we’re already locked in, but without a doubt – DAZZY seals the deal. The quiet swagger of the opening bars, the sudden shift to a passionate outcry – the whole thing is sultry and heart-wrenchingly personal all at once. Yet again, contrast is mastered – juxtaposed moments allowing the true impact of finely crafted, timeless music to hit. A definite highlight.

Elsewhere within CITY OF ME, dashes of No Doubt come through occasionally, amidst a broad range of influences that ultimately seem irrelevant in the face of clear originality and identity.

NOTHING injects a pop-punk anthem with emotional Cranberries-esque weight in unison. The live show appeal grows stronger with each new stroke of versatility, of faultless musicianship and conceptual honesty.

Then we get an acoustic moment of stripped-back consideration for USE MY AFFECTION – the simple strum, the up-close vocal further securing R.SHE as one of the scene’s most capable yet genuine and compelling performers. The song increasingly connects for its fearless exploration of intimacy, heartbreak and scorn.

Afterwards, the title track – CITY OF ME – surrounds us with fragments of piano, guitar, reverb and bass, a brief new vocal protagonist, and a notably brave array of space before the sudden and completely unexpected rap thread for one final twist and story of personal turmoil and evolution.

CITY OF ME is superb as an EP in itself, but on reflection there’s so much within the R.SHE catalogue that’s worth your time as a fan of honest music and art. Well worth knowing about.

Check out R.SHE via Instagram.

Rebecca Cullen

Founder & Editor

Founder, Editor, Musician & MA Songwriter

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