“Indie songwriting shot through with electronic flourishes, the pair remove the divide between themselves and their art, resulting in some highly personal moments.” – Clash Magazine
Shoji are an electronic duo that combine ethereal textures with calming beats. Composed of Josh Oliver and Alex Arcoleo, this pair met at school, although it wasnʼt until a few years later that they started writing music together. Shoji was later formed in the summer of 2017, when they released their debut single ‘To The Startʼ, which received glowing reviews from blogs including HillyDilly, Kick Kick Snare and La Belle Musique.
Their latest release ‘Blissʼ is their most mature to date, blending their contrasting backgrounds in folk, pop and underground electronic music. This fine blend of visceral instrumentation is completed by the lyrical imagery that explores self-destruction, attachment, addiction and surrender.
“The lyric “Devil’s Acre” is a metaphor for being stuck in a claustrophobic headspace. The line came from a poetry book that Josh read and it immediately struck a chord. The contrast of the last line “I know I’ll stay as long as I feel Bliss” plays with the idea of addiction and using vices to self remedy. The track title ‘Bliss’ we wanted to use as a contrast for the meaning of the lyrics to symbolise being in a dream state.”
In one way, Shoji make an unlikely duo, with one band member previously immersed in the folk scene focusing on songwriting, whilst the other band member has a history in underground electronic music and production. Listening to a song like ‘Bliss’, it’s easy to hear how Shoji’s differences are indeed their greatest strength. Their music is hallmarked by interplay between the organic and the digital, by folk-ish songwriting and modernist production, by introspective lyrics and objective electronics.
Keep your ears open for more new music from Shoji in 2019.
“Plucked synths, throaty guitar, and hypnotizing percussion hook us in.” – Kick Kick Snare
“There’s absolutely nothing to find fault with.” – Hillydilly
“Multi-layered echoes feel like a cerebral massage.” – Aupium