Shirley Hurt

Shirley Hurt’s self-titled, debut LP will be released on Telephone Explosion Records on December 2, 2022. For most of the world, it will be the first glimpse of the all-encompassing universe this nascent-yet-enlightened Toronto singer/songwriter has invited us into.

Throughout the course of nine songs, Shirley Hurt traverses into the furthest corners of experimental indie folk, pop and country, alchemizing a singular sound  that integrates elements of each with elegant unpredictability and ease.

Skeletal arrangements tastefully slink around Hurt’s compelling voice, an instrument in its own right which brings to mind some of the great classically leftfield singers while retaining a distinctiveness that is increasingly rare in this era. When asked about the influences that shaped her singing and songwriting style, Hurt (née Sophia Ruby Katz), is reluctant to get into particulars.

“I really don’t like specifically naming people as influences,” she explains. “Mostly because it seems like what happens is people use influences as placeholders for forming their own opinion about the work. A friend of mine refers to this as “mistaking the menu for the meal”, and I think he’s right.”

The music on Shirley Hurt seems to fall in line with her explanation, never leaning overtly into any one particular sonic landscape enough to pigeonhole herself. Instead, the album and artist herself seem wrapped in a captivating, just-barely-penetrable opaqueness, identifiable only by the confidence of its execution.