There have been few positives to come out of 2020, but for London-based multi-instrumentalist TSHA it’s been a time of rediscovery and affirmation. During lockdown the self-taught producer, songwriter and DJ discovered she had a sister she’d never known about and channeled the swell of contrasting feelings that comes with meeting an unknown sibling for the first time into ‘Sister’.
One of the most affecting tracks of the year, ‘Sister’ is also the lead single on her cathartic third EP ‘Flowers’, with vibrant artwork – angled so TSHA’s head is in the clouds as she smells sunflowers – encapsulates the bright mood perfectly.
A euphoric banger full of emotion and melody, ‘Sister’ is a proper hug-your-mates anthem with a heartwarming childlike vocal – “It feels like I’ve just woken up/I was always waiting for us” – that carries a sense of nostalgia for years lost.
From the initial excitement to the nervousness and eventual elation, listening to the wind chime percussion, tinkling piano keys and crackle of vinyl conjures up a powerful image of TSHA and her newfound sibling running through fields together making up for lost time, while the spiralling acid bassline represents their happiness, as if they’ve each found a piece that’s always been missing.
The following three tracks are just as upbeat and vibey, making a strong case for a full-band live show when the time allows. Fans of Caribou will fall for guitar-and-synth groover ‘Renegade’, on which TSHA enlists the hopeful vocal of South London’s Ell Murphy who sings optimistically about “searching for the sweetest sound”.
‘Change’ finds pop singer-songwriter Gabrielle Aplin’s earworm of a vocal gliding over kinetic acid synths and an insistent drumline. Another subtle banger, it’s equally suited to dark clubs and daytime radio; Aplin’s catchy chorus makes it a singalong anthem while TSHA’s hedonistic production provides peak-time energy.
On EP closer ‘Demba’ TSHA switches up the vibe, experimenting with griot group Trio Da Kali’s Malian chants, layering them over a bumping house groove and xylophone-like percussion.
Compared to the Maribou State-style electronica of her earlier EPs, ‘Flowers’ is a bold snapshot of TSHA’s sonic evolution and, with her debut album in the works, an exciting peek at what’s to come from a multi-talented artist who crafts a new world with every piece of music she makes.
Release date: November 13
Record label: Ninja Tune