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Fruit Nick Roseblade , August 16th, 2019 09:42

Sharky's Fruit EP is a day-glo pop adventure, finds Nick Roseblade

So far Sharky has done little wrong. After hooking up with Todd and Guy Speakman, the UK bass duo Speakman Sound, they have delivered five excellent singles that successfully skew pop and bass music to create something visceral and delightful. They’ve teamed up again on Sharky’s playful and dreamy debut EP Fruit.

‘Intro’ kicks things off with sombre jazzy horns before the title track kicks in and we’re off on a day-glo pop adventure. The two tracks that sum up Fruit are ‘Two Armies’ and ‘Romanian Moths’. They both contain surreal imagery and Sharky’s strongest vocal performances to date, but it’s the Speakman’s production that really gels these into something magnificent and catchy. ‘Two Armies’ has an infectious bounce to it that is hard to ignore. Starting off slow and dreamy it slowly builds in tempo and texture until it is an all-consuming neo-soul beast. But it is the glorious outro when everything just clicks and it becomes a thing of wonder. When Sharky and the Speakmans get locked in that groove it’s on and you don’t want it to stop. ‘Romanian Moths’ cleverly plays around with time signatures and genres as it cuts this way and that like a modern day ‘Some Velvet Morning’. At the half way point ‘Romanian Moths’ gives up trying to restrain itself and descents into an Eastern Bloc jazz freak out, before regaining its composure and closing on Sharky’s understated warbling vocals.

The Fruit EP showcases Sharky’s unique vocals, but also her ability as a lyricist “Wasps die in swoon. They forgot summer in bloom”, “Endings winding to no end. With my requited friend. I can love” and “Fake your mind up. Come to a decision” all conjure up strong images in the mind, but at the same time their true meaning is kept hidden and slightly vague. And this is what Shakry does well. Hiding her true intentions in plain sight. What the Fruit EP does really well is how it skews interesting sounds and textures into the pop format. Abstract jazz, bass culture, sugary pop and wonky electronica are all represented. Sharky, and the Speakmans are really playing around with form and style to create something that follows pops conventions but does it in a new and exciting way.