First Listen: Shallou channels electronic bliss on ‘The Long Way Home’ EPUntitled 1

First Listen: Shallou channels electronic bliss on ‘The Long Way Home’ EP

Shallou‘s melodic prowess has spanned several projects since his debut EP, All Becomes Okay, hit streaming platforms in 2017. The years that have followed have seen Shallou further breakthrough with the release of his lauded Souls EP (2018), his first studio album, Magical Thinking (2020), and his long-awaited EP, The Long Way Home, out now via FADER Label.

Whispery vocal chops and Shallou’s instrumental skills are on display on the EP, which was led by a handful of singles ultimately topped off by a team up with Emmit Fenn, “Hollow.” The Long Way Home underscores Shallou’s status as a multi-talented musician across the soothing guitar riffs on lead singles “Heartaches” and “High Tide,” and his beloved chill-house sound, achieved with harmonizing keys on “Here.” The EP also treats listeners to two new compositions,”Corners” and “Pacifica,” which serve as the project’s intro and outro numbers, respectively.

The Long Way Home embraces the theme of resilience, with its lyrics taking inspiration from the mental health struggles that Shallou—born Joe Boston—experienced during the COVID-19 lockdown, a period where he could be found using music as medicine. Of the concept behind the EP, Shallou said,

“The EP began as an ode to this town near San Francisco that I visited called Pacifica, where I felt true inner peace and was able to let the past few years of my career fully wash over me. The town reminds me of my childhood trips to southern Maine; the ocean laps against large rock formations and the town feels sleepy and calm. Fishermen dangle their rods into the ocean from a long historic-looking pier, hoping for a bite. The air is misty and crisp, something I don’t experience too often in LA, where I live in a bustling community. During COVID, I had some extremely difficult mental struggles – I was diagnosed with OCD and anxiety/depression consumed everything. In 2021, working on the new music represented a safe place I could escape to just like Pacifica, just like home.”

The concept lends well to the EP’s sequencing, beginning with “Corners,” a song that Shallou wrote at a time when he “had a feeling of impending doom always nagging at me, sitting in the corner of my mind…it was creatively debilitating, but when I finally felt a sense of normal returning I felt I could be hopeful again and work toward something.” That something was The Long Way Home.

Fans have heard the majority of the project during Shallou’s The Long Way Home United States tour this fall, which the producer undertook with Robotaki and closed out with a sold-out show at Webster Hall in New York. To celebrate the journey and commemorate The Long Way Home, he’s released an official live performance video of the projects’ first single, “Heartaches.” He’ll look to continue his antics in the live circuit, with upcoming performances at Fresh Start festival in San Francisco for New Year’s and much more to come in 2022.

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