Female singers with exotic names are like buses: you wait ages for one and then, well you know the rest.
We’ll start off with Shah, as she’s the one about whom there’s a bus, sorry buzz. We’ve seen her compared to PJ Harvey but she’s more reminiscent of Siouxsie and the Banshees, at least the early, gloomy, atmospheric stuff.
Shah is more hypnotic, Moore more poppy. They both have distinctive, bluesy, soulful voices that have the same fractured quality as Siouxsie, Moore in places Shah a lot more. We were also reminded of Carmel and Sade.
Neither of these albums has tracks that immediately leap out but reward with repeated plays; both are growers and both top quality. We played Moore for most of last week and when we switched back to Shah it was very pleasurable hearing her tunes again — though in neither case could we hum a single one.
Back in the day, Carmel had a hit with Bad Day, a song that has stuck with us for many a year. We think if you’re a younger music fan and hear either of these albums, they may well contain a song or two that will stay with you for years. Sade is a comparison because the songs on both albums are well written, timelessly good tunes — partly why we are resurrecting names from many years ago with which to compare them.
For tasters: the opener on Shah’s is the title track and that’s as good as anywhere to start. The opening track of Moore’s is Piano Song and highlights the differences, almost R&B and with smoother vocals. If you like bluesy pop, it’s Moore, if you want atmospheric indie it’s Shah, but you won’t be disappointed with either.