Performing under the mononym Shanay, Shanay Holmes is a London-based singer/songwriter who has started to receive attention across the British blogosphere as her debut EP Time is slated for an October 1, 2015. EP title track “Time” combines a classical string arrangement with contemporary pop production in the form of hip-hop inspired beats and skittering percussion, paired with Shanay’s soulful vocals to craft a song that not only possesses a melodramatic heft, but ties into a long R&B tradition of songs in which a heartbroken narrator tells off her time-wasting, potential lover, who seems to not understand that she’s the one. And although the song’s narrator is heartbroken, there’s a hidden reserve of resolve and strength. In this case, the song’s narrator may be hoping that her love interest finally gets a clue, but there’s a sense that she realizes she’s probably going to have to move on anyway.
In an age in which some pop stars’ voices are processed and manipulated beyond recognition and when other pop stars spend half the song trying too hard to impress you with their soulfulness and range, hearing a vocalist whose vocals are so effortless channels old school pop and R&B.