There’s one thing we can all agree on — being in your early 20s is tough. It’s a time of a lot of firsts; first apartments, first professional jobs, first meaningful relationships. It’s your first time figuring a lot of things out, making a lot of mistakes, and learning a lot about yourself — and those are feelings Saddle Creek’s newest signee Shalom knows all too well.
The Brooklyn-based artist compiled her wistful and witty observations on early adulthood into 13 tracks across her stand-out debut album, Sublimation. On songs like “Narcissist” and “Soccer Mommy,” her enveloping vocals tug on heartstrings as she offers a diaristic snapshot of the joy, pain, and confusion of stepping into adulthood. Throughout Sublimation, Shalom stories of self-medication, feeling like an outsider, and ultimately deciding to hold love above fear.
Ahead of the release of her debut album Sublimination, Shalom talks with Uproxx about Walk The Moon, baking pies, and Shania Twain in our latest Q&A.
What are four words you would use to describe your music?
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Honest, interesting, alternative, emotive
It’s 2050 and the world hasn’t ended and people are still listening to your music. How would you like it to be remembered?
As an honest look into what life was like for me, what being a person was like for me in my early 20s.
What’s your favorite city in the world to perform?
I’ve pretty much only played in New York and New Brunswick, NJ. New Brunswick shows are special because being there feels like a hometown hero moment, so I’d have to give this one to NB.
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Who’s the person who has most inspired your work, and why?
My work is inspired by the experiences I have with people and myself as I go through life. I would say life is the most inspiring thing there is — not really boiling it down to one specific person.
Where did you eat the best meal of your life?
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Somewhere in New Jersey.
What album do you know every word to?
How To Be A Human Being by Glass Animals.
What was the best concert you’ve ever attended?
Glass Animals in Prospect Park or LCD Soundsystem at Brooklyn Steel.
What is the best outfit for performing and why?
Depends on the season, but I usually coordinate with the band. We have themes: black and white, prints, New Year’s party. The best outfit for performing matches the theme, is comfy, and is also sexy.
Who’s your favorite person to follow on Twitter and/or Instagram?
I really love Instagram as a way to stay in touch with my friends so I have some friends that I really love — my best friend and her sister run a consignment store on there @thriftersisterco. Emily’s looks are so great and she has such incredible style. I love watching her flex that and also being able to play dress up with her.
What’s your most frequently played song in the van on tour?
Will report back after first tour but it might be “Man I Feel Like A Woman” by Shania Twain or “Walking In Memphis” by Cher — special songs to the band.
What’s the last thing you Googled?
“Best spring desserts to bake pies”
What album makes for the perfect gift?
How Big How Blue How Beautiful by Florence And The Machine.
Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever crashed while on tour?
Again, will report back!
What’s the story behind your first or favorite tattoo?
My only tattoo is this Walk The Moon symbol <+> on my right ankle. I got it in my dorm my freshman year and I picked at it while it was scabbing. I am working on the compulsive picking but not quite ready for another one yet.
What artists keep you from flipping the channel on the radio?
Lizzo and Walk Th Moon immediately come to mind. Like, the music feels so good instantaneously and you owe it to yourself to listen to the whole song.
What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?
My little sister bought me dinner on the worst night of my life and talked to me on the phone for an hour. I’ve never been more grateful I think ever.
What’s one piece of advice you’d go back in time to give to your 18-year-old self?
Not everyone is good but a lot of people are, despite the misfortune of meeting as many bad people as you will. Believe people — believe in people — but guard your heart.
What’s the last show you went to?
Went to see my friends in Nancy Whitaker play at Our Wicked Lady in Brooklyn. Kevin (the lead singer) got hit in the head by his bassist and he finished a song with blood streaming down his face. It was a pretty crazy night.
What movie can you not resist watching when it’s on TV?
Stick It or Bring It On or Bring It On Again.
What’s one of your hidden talents?
When I was growing up I was always the one who knew how to fix the WiFi. I’m still pretty good with WiFi.
Sublimation is out 3/10 via Saddle Creek. Pre-order it here.