Review: Leeds’ shaene Offers a Grunge and Shoegaze Collision on New Album ‘time lost / time regained’

Shaene is back with her debut album, offering both melancholia and grunge in a buy-one-get-one-free package.

Leeds-based shaene’s new album is something of a grunge, and shoegaze collision. Not the type that damages your car, but rather the kind that brings particles together to create some ecstatic energy to be harnessed by many within the everyday. A musical miracle for all ears. Reminiscent of bands lit up in neon lights (Slowdive, Cocteau Twins etc.), shaene adopts these influences, incorporating them with her own original sound; something evermore attempted by bands, e.g. She’s in Parties, NewDad et al.

“Sad”, first seen as a single, marks the tone for the rest of the album, a comment on neurodivergence in a Slyvia Plath-esque manner that blooms with a romantic delicate, frail sadness. When speaking about the track, shaene stated: “’sad’ is about being lodged in a deep depression, convinced that everyone would be better off without you around”.

‘time lost/time regained’ consists of several short, sweet tracks that are simultaneously tranquil and invigorating – similar to the all-too-familiar Lo-Fi study playlists adopted by thousands to calm the nerves whilst intensely cramming. Tracks “bleach” and “dumb” lean towards the grunge, fishnet tights side more than others, adopting interchangeable, fluctuating levels of volume, which many have compared to the work of Seattle’s Nirvana. In this sense, shaene’s album is an amped-up version of 90’s freak-hit “Polly” or the unplugged “Where Did You Sleep Last Night”.

Themes of alienation and self-doubt are common features across the album, which was self-produced by shaene and is therefore a product of both her mind, thoughts and raw musical talent. All of this is influenced by her role as a trans-woman within contemporary society; the album is both a progression and journey towards self-love that, through the motor of music, shaene invites each individual to join her on.

‘time lost / time regained’ is out now.

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