Dublin-born Paris-based singer-songwriter Siobhan McClean otherwise known as Shiv is gearing up to make a bold debut with EP Me 2 Me.
Proclaiming her sound to be emotion-filled escapism, the six-track goodness is best described as an audio diary. An exploration of her inner world, the EP is full of material that pokes into self-doubt, anxiety, and creative vulnerability.
The EP’s opening track “Me 2 Me” delves into the vulnerability of being creative. The journey of an artist is not for the faint-hearted, the constant search for perfectionism, fear of rejection and let’s not forget the good ol’ imposter syndrome. Essentially a pep talk to herself, Shiv desperately tries to rid the self-imposed purgatory. Preaching to her listeners to silence the inner negativity and focus on honing their craft, the track is a bag of mixed emotions. Though lyrically uplifting, the melancholic instrumental disrupts the positive tone and thus has us questioning whether even Shiv believes her own advice.
Spotlight Lyric: “You are not a fool besides some people think you’re kinda cool/Stop thinking that you got something to prove.
The next track was “U Don’t Burn”, which takes on a similar message to the opening track. Whilst the comforting quality was missing in the opener, here Shiv sounds more confident of her words. She persists to both herself and listeners that as daunting as stepping outside the box can be, it is not fire and you will not get burned. Simplistic lyrics and soft harmonies hovering over a muted beat, the track brings a sense of peace to the previous track’s anxieties.
Spotlight Lyric: “Why don’t you just unwind/It will be alright I swear.
Connecting with fellow Dubliner, rapper and singer Nealo, Again is a contender for my favourite track off the EP. Shiv’s songwriting capabilities are brought to the forefront here. Though a brief visit, Nealo’s distinct gritty flow switches the pace of the track quite nicely. Having already worked together on previous single ‘Golden’, Nealo’s tone contrasts pleasantly with Shiv’s soulful vocals and I look forward to hearing more collaborations between the two.
Spotlight Lyric: “I’ve come so far from underage drinking in the back of someone’s car/ Now I’m over age drinking a magnum I bought from Spar
Sometimes our pep talks to ourselves are not enough and we really just need a hug and kiss from our parents to soothe those internal feelings of inadequacy away even if it’s just temporary.
Featuring voicemails of both her Mom and Dad as an intro, Hold Me finds the Kildare native desiring to be held like she used to when she was younger.
Spotlight Lyric: “I want you to hold me like you used to when I was younger/ You kissed me on my cheeks/Squeezed me long indeed/ And then everything will be okay
A simple chord progression with a looping background vocal and a sporadic chilled beat, recent single You and I is more stripped back instrumentally in comparison to previous tracks.
Though written like a standard love song, the track really examines the peculiar nature of the bond between an artist and their art. Creative expression takes the role of the distant partner in this relationship. You can’t push creativity, you need to allow it to come to you. Though you’re angry when it’s not there, that fulfilling and addictive feeling you get when it comes back cannot be replaced.
Spotlight Lyric: “But I can’t let you down when you come around/ I swear it hurts/I swear it’s worth it
Closing our journey with Shiv is Letting you Know. Delivering her best vocal performance on the EP, the track is a perfect ending to a promising debut.
Spotlight Lyric: “Cause there’s no room to move/All I see is you so just in case I cross your mind/I’m letting you know.
There is something going on in the Irish sea. The amount of talented Irish acts popping up all over the scene – Hare Squead, Biig Piig, Jafaris and now Shiv. Not sure what’s going on in the Irish waters but keep it coming!
Favourite tracks: You and I, Letting You Know, Again