|The new versions put Shaefri’s stunning vocals and potent lyricism to the forefront. ‘Girl’ uses just minimal guitar and delicate keys in place of the twitchy tabla beat found on the original, which allows the themes of the #MeToo inspired song to hit even harder.|
The heartstrings are pulled even tighter on ‘Say You’ll Be There’, an ode to support networks and speaking out, penned after the loss of a friend, which is stripped right back to just a cavernous piano backing.
Regarding the acoustic versions Shaefri says, "With live performances not really being an option this year, and with the mood being a bit sombre, especially now we head into winter, I really wanted to recreate that raw, "live" feel with intimate versions of both 'Girl' and 'Say You'll Be There'.
“I was keen to distil and expose them; ‘Girl’ is an homage to sisterhood and support systems and as the original is so powerful, I wanted to create a softer, more vulnerable version; I think it's really important to be able to showcase both sides of yourself and that you can be soft without being weak - there are so many ways to express yourself effectively.
“‘Say You’ll Be There’ really resonated with people originally. Given that it’s such a personal song, inspired by a very sad, painful experience, I wanted this version to reflect the meaningful message behind it, to come together and lean on one another in times of struggle and that even in darkness there's hope."
The songs feature on Sheafri’s spectacular second EP Girl, released earlier this year to swathes of critical praise from the likes of Sunday Times Culture, The Line Of Best Fit, Earmilk, Clash, Irish Tatler, Hot Press and many more.
The Girl EP is the result of a two-year quest to capture her unique identity. A fresh, organic blend of electronics and acoustic instruments, the five tracks are steeped in tradition, but could only have been written by a young woman in today’s time of great transition.
Shaefri’s unique half-Egyptian, half-Irish heritage forms the beating heart of every one of her songs. Arabic beats meet harmonies that hark back to summers spent in Mayo and family sing-alongs. Percussion and strings spring from a childhood immersed in the music of both cultures. In her hypnotic vocals, Shaefri’s contrasting sides collide.
Girl follows the release of Shaefri’s critically praised debut EP Cracks in 2017. The EP explored the dark side of love and was described as “divine” and “a breath of fresh air” by the likes of Clash, DIY and Hot Press and had several of its songs, notably lead single ‘Pixelate’, played on Amazing Radio, Radio X and RTE.
Where Cracks was intimate, raw and atmospheric, its lyrics delivered as though revealing secrets, ‘Girl’ is brightly-textured and addictively melodic, favouring more straightforward story-telling, brisker beats and real instruments. In short, it’s the sound of Shaefri growing up.
“This infectious song combines sparse sonics, skittering beats, nagging hooks and a siren call of a chorus”
“The EP is proof that the bad times can make way for the good”
“Every next step Shaefri takes makes her look like more of a talent”
“An artist whose work is both enticing and complex, she draws on her half-Egyptian, half-Irish heritage to sculpt uniquely atmospheric works of pop-art”
“She's comfortable with her own identity, thriving, and armed with fresh sounds for her audience this year”
“It pairs the music of her unique Irish/Egyptian heritage and electronica with hypnotic vocals, alongside an important empowering message.”