Today’s revelation in music is Shayfer James, a complex singer and songwriter I recently have heard of. “New York Doesn’t Remind me” takes fans on an audio-visual journey throughout NYC, reflecting on love, heartbreak, and the intertwined connection memories can hold to particular locations. Sure, New York has become one of the main subject in today’s music, take Harry Styles‘ “Ever since New York”. The trouble with ‘Ever Since New York’ is that it doesn’t really go anywhere. Unlike ‘New York Doesn’t Remind me’ which, in my opinion, perfectly combines NYC nostalgia and the singer’s lost love.
“The places I describe in the song are all actual locations where my own love affair blossomed and withered in New York City, making this song deeply personal to me. I just thought there was something important about admitting that I was in denial. Admitting that my heart was broken and that everything reminded me of this lost love, ” shared James.
“New York Doesn’t Remind me” is soft in approach, with subtle lyric delivery and contrasting instrumental moments that make it quite the earworm. The song’s piano led presence allows for a scenic soundscape that seamlessly clashes with its powerful chorus “This is nobody’s fault / God I wish you were here. ”
Taking the concept a step further, James collaborated with friend and photographer Samantha Tenbroek Mellina, to build a companion photo-set for the song. Shot on 35mm film with an old Canon A-1 camera created an authentic, one-take challenge that makes the images even more impressive, as new details are discovered in every examination. “Her goal was to capture the spontaneity and permanence I’m describing in the song, so film was the perfect choice. Not knowing what the photos actually looked like until they were developed felt nostalgic and genuine to me,” James explained.
New York Doesn’t Remind Me” is available on all major digital retailers today, including Bandcamp, Spotify, and Apple Music. It was produced, engineered, mixed and arranged by Jeremy Gillespie, and mastered by Kim Rose.
All photo copyrights: Samantha Tenbroek Mellina
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