Edinburgh-based SHEARS has been a shining light as lockdown has lifted, with the bright pop of her latest EP, Mind In Decline, following on nicely from the darker tones of her debut, When You’re Around, released in the heart of lockdown. Now, as we head towards another, hopefully less restricted, Scottish winter, I chatted with the singer about the new EP, music as therapy and the effects of being thrust into the public eye at a young age.
What’s your feelings on Mind In Decline?
The tracks weren’t thought of as one body of work initially, but they all come under an umbrella of mental fragility over lockdown and it just seemed to work.
Mental fragility is a predominant theme on the EP. Has making this been a sort of therapy?
Yeah, absolutely. It’s a total therapy. And it’s escapism as well, but just being able to get your thoughts down through lyrics or through sounds is a release. If I’m feeling rubbish, I go and work on music for an hour and I feel better again. It’s the only thing that makes me feel better.
This is your second EP released since the start of lockdown, is there a difference on what people can expect?
I’m in a different headspace than I was last year. I wanted to write something a little brighter after lockdown and I’m kind of still heading in that direction. Before it was all darkness and space, and big vocals, and then I was like you know what? I’m just gonna, just gonna take it back a little bit, let’s just do something a bit lighter. I think going forward there’s a bit more opportunity to move, dance a little bit.
You talk about it being a bit lighter in sound, but the EP seems to draw from negative emotional themes, how do you feel that fits together?
The EP last year was very much these are all my frustrations, I’m just going to shout them out. Whereas this one I’m looking at somebody else being really positive and asking, why am I not like that? It’s moving away from just showing all your frustrations, it’s going how do I become a more balanced and healthy individual?
It’s hard to talk about your past without mentioning the following you had when you were younger doing covers on YouTube, how did that success translate into the expectations of releasing your own material?
Nowhere near the same expectations. I was just really happy to be releasing something that was mine. That feels like a whole different lifetime. It gives you the experience of people seeing you and commenting, giving you all their thoughts all the time and messaging you. I had to turn off my Facebook messages because I got so many unsolicited dick pics, like every single day. And I was just like, I can’t do this anymore.