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By : Shamus Hill

8 min read

For those of you out there who keep a close eye on the circuit of Massachusetts music, Shandelle is a name you’ll have undoubtedly come across at one point or another. A multi-faceted creative who is originally from Somerville, Shandelle and her magical voice have found a new level of prominence during the last calendar year, with a number of live performances, a debut album, and stark artistic growth defining her 2023. 

Shandelle’s creative being is expressed in a number of ways, but the avenues of singing, songwriting, dancing, and visual art serve as her primary vessels of expression. The music she makes has a particularly drawing effect, and her ability to create wondrous, memorable moments through lyric and sound are ultimately the reason why she’s managed to boost her local stature this past year. She’s relentlessly pursued both artistic and personal growth since she signed to Arkh Zeus’s Zenith Royale label and released her debut mixtape, introspection back in 2021, with years of dedication to her art form ultimately piling up to this current moment in time. In an effort to build upon everything that she’s worked diligently towards, Shandelle recently launched her year with a delectable, heartfelt single titled “how long has it been?”. Not long after the song’s soundscapes first debuted in headphones everywhere, Shandelle made a quick return with a two-pack of songs titled AMOR // SUDOR

Translating to LOVE // SWEAT in English, this release centers itself around the dichotomy of love. “is there still love?” is the first of the two songs to make up this selection of music, and deals with a more romantic, idealistic vision of love and relationships. In the words of Shandelle herself, “It’s about longing for a second chance at a love that still has the potential to evolve.” Containing soundscapes that exist someplace within the realm of R&B, Neo-Soul, Bossa Nova, and Bedroom Pop music, “is there still love?” is a brilliant depiction of Shandelle’s artistic capabilities as both a singer and a songwriter. Tasked with the production of this song is CLUB INDGO’s ProSwervez, who laced Shandelle with an otherworldly, enchanting instrumental that enables her to spill her truest thoughts and feelings as it pertains to longing for a particular instance of love. 

Rounding out AMOR // SUDOR is “closer.” Featuring some up-beat, enthralling production from Boston’s GIBDJ, “closer” embodies the more lustful side of this two-pack. Self-described as “a bouncy club track” that “details an encounter in a club or party setting with someone you’ve been acquainted with,” the song is a polished addition to Shandelle’s discography, and reinforces the sentiment that she’s one of the most exciting talents currently making music in Massachusetts. From the moment one presses play on any one of her releases, her voice latches onto your mind and doesn’t let go. In addition to these two songs, Shandelle also made sure to include sped-up versions of both “is there still love?” and “closer” on the track list for fans to enjoy. AMOR // SUDOR is Shandelle in her best form yet, and envelopes everything that collides to make her a formidable, exciting creative. 

Now that this pairing of songs is out there for the world to listen to, Shandelle is left to create what lies next on her musical path. There will surely be performances from Shandelle across the Boston area in the very near future, which is something that listeners should be keeping an eye out for. As the multi-hyphenate continues to navigate down the lanes of artistry and develop into a refined presence in Massachusetts music, stay tuned for what’s next to come. For now, we’re left to yearn to the sounds of AMOR // SUDOR

—Shamus Hill

Originally published in-print in Boston Compass Newspaper #167 March 2024


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