Following his 2016 debut hit “Take my body higher,” Shoffy has gained popularity as a singer/songwriter who specializes in downtempo electro, indie-pop and R&B. Since then, he has released singles such as “Faces,” and “Motions,” that have solidified his laidback, deep electronic sound.
His self-titled debut album, Shoffy, is a strong sophomore release, which features his signature vocals accompanied by melodic sounds coming from different instruments, such as chilled out guitar riffs, amplified piano echoes, and distinctive electronic synth sounds. The album is definitely at its best when it is listened to according to its original track list, as it takes you on an elevated journey through the various thoughts and experiences that make up a life, The album also takes you through Shoffy’s mind and his writing process of the record.
The first song, also the most popular, features vocals by Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna, and captures the very essence of the album. Its lyrics deal with a seemingly impossible love, which Shoffy chooses to chase, despite society’s disagreement. While the reason behind that impossibility is not explicitly stated, the reference to “flags” suggests it might be a pro-LGBTQ anthem. “What about us” also has some political undertones, in that it asks: “What about us? What about the children? What about our future?” The song remains vague enough to also pass as a lover questioning his relationship’s future. Indeed, the lyrics in his songs contain enough depth to be interpreted in different ways, which contribute to the strength of the record.
Shoffy hits a sort of existential predicament on “Fake Friends,” where he sings “All your boys ain't what they seem/All your girls ain't got your back/Friendships slowly fade to black.” It seems that he is talking about his life as a musician in LA, as he realizes that his friends are nothing but mere social connections that abuse him for his fame (“They just hang around to get paid”). His somber tone continues on “Different Skies,” where he talks about a past relationship he cannot seem to let go of. Although his ex-lover is happy in a new relationship, he lingers on his past memories, like their “nights in Cali.” The theme of reality versus illusion is further explored on “Pretend,” where a past lover tricks him into falling for them, only to leave him again. Overall, the tracks up to this point act like a timeline of a romantic relationship, going from feelings of a new love, to a darker, more melancholic theme, where Shoffy realizes the harsh realities of his life.
While the album may seem somber thus far, it also illustrates more cheerful aspects of his life. In “On my body” and “Breathe,” he deals with the excitement associated to new lovers and raw desire. He sings: “U got my attention/Lemme relieve all the tension/Those eyes are like a spell/Threw my last penny into the wishing well.” He also connects with his deeper emotions on “Shore,” as he sings about the peculiar mix of fear and pleasure, of caution and vulnerability that accompany the discovery of a new lover: “I can't explain, but you pulled me in/Suddenly you are changing up the view/I'm falling for you.”
The album is definitely a lively trip into the mind of an artist who deals with different emotions and experiences. It is an album you can listen to in different moods. All of the tracks have in common melodic sounds that enable you to choose whether to focus on the depth provided by the lyrics, or to simply enjoy a musical journey through his vocals, along with other instruments. Whether you are in the beginning stages of a new love, in a moment of pure desire, or going through a breakup, Shoffy has a song for you.