With the release of her first two EPs Run and Waters, the London-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Eliza Shaddad quickly rose to international prominence as she received praise from a number of major media outlets including The Fader, Nylon, Stereogum, The Line of Best Fit, The Independent, Clash, The 405, as well as airplay from BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 1Xtra, Beats 1 Radio and countless others for a sound that some have compared to PJ Harvey, Cat Power and others. (Not bad company to be a part of, if you ask me!) Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of years, you may recall that I’ve written about the acclaimed British singer/songwriter, and as you may recall that Shaddad has arguably one of the more interesting backstories I’ve come across in quite some time. As the story goes, she’s the daughter of Sudanese and Scottish parents — and on her mother’s side, she’s the descendant of a long and very proud line of artists and poets that can be traced back to the 1800s; in fact, her great, great grandfather James Paterson, was a member of the Glasgow Boys, a group of extremely forward-thinking artists, best known for challenging the style and subjects of Victorian Scottish painting. She’s also spent time living in seven different countries and as a result, she speaks four languages. Along with that she’s earned a Masters in Philosophy and graduated from the Guildhall School with a degree in Jazz. Considering that background, it should be unsurprising that Shaddad’s work centers around constantly shifting and widening perspectives.
Additionally Shaddad has developed a reputation for pairing her creative work with significant causes. Along with fellow musician Samantha Lindo, she co-founded Girls Girls Girls, a female arts collective that has worked to empower women within the arts through special cross-disciplinary events across the UK. She has also raised awareness and funding for the anti-female genital mutilation charity Orchid Project.
The extremely busy Shaddad’s highly anticipated full-length debut Future is slated for release this fall, and the album, which will continue her ongoing (and longtime) collaboration with Chris Bond is slated for release later this year. The album’s second and latest single “My Body” is moody and hook-driven track centered around shoegazer-like atmospherics — in other words, shimmering guitar chords paired with Shaddad’s gorgeous vocals — and trip hop’s dark and seductive grooves. The song evokes a plaintive yet kind of uncertain need. Interestingly, as Shaddad explains in press notes, the song is about “Being betrayed by your body. Knowing full well that you need to be alone, but doubting it every night.”
Directed by Joe McCrae, the recently released video was shot with several different cameras and employs the use of animation to show the transition between one’s conscious and subconscious while capturing the song’s — and in turn, its narrator’s — restlessness.