“Shee” by Quickly, Quickly is a quintessential song on the Portland artist’s debut album, The Long and Short Of It. The song is one of many on the album that captures the complex psychedelic experience that the artist creates through his intersection of two genres: bedroom pop and beat music.
Written on his girlfriend’s guitar, “Shee” speaks to his complete adoration through lyrics like, “Couldn’t be more lovely, I hear the sun when she speaks”. The lyrics create a feeling of a walking daydream, and the instrumentals further push this feeling to the forefront. While bedroom pop and beat music are both simplistic, the way that Graham Jonson uses them together creates an extremely layered sound. Critic Jonah Bromwich describes his music as having “…vast emotional horizons. His songs are lush and boundless”.
Listen to “Shee” by Quickly, Quickly
“Shee” is the third single on Quickly, Quickly’s album. The song opens with a soft guitar sound and vocals. The vocals start to build on each other until Graham’s voice is layered with harmonies that make their way to the forefront. The vocals and guitar accumulate into an ethereal solo on guitar.
The buildup throughout the song is what creates that emotional response in the listener. “Shee” takes you from a feeling of contentment to an emotional release, and back to a sense of peace. The way that Quickly, Quickly stacks ideas and details is what makes the song so complex. The higher frequencies mixed with the grounding sound of his guitar create a unique and relaxing sound that nods its head to the two genres that inspired the sound: bedroom pop and beats. The song, along with the rest of the album, contains no instrumental samples. Graham made a song that was profoundly him.
The Long And Short Of It
Quickly, Quickly’s debut album The Long And Short Of It, is the result of the artist expanding the boundaries of his sound. The song, “Shee,” is a window into the album, which builds and falls similarly to the song. The early songs on the album reflect a positive attitude. Tracks like “Phases” and “Come Visit Me” –a song about personal growth, reinforce this attitude. The rest of the album slowly transitions into a darker theme; the effect is heightened by a moodier vocal tone. The album ends with a sense of hope and relief.
What stands out the most about this album is the surprising complexity of two genres that are typically more simplistic. Certain genres like Lo-Fi Beats offer a steady, predictable melody from start to end. However, when you layer complex vocal harmonies, emotionally charged instrumentals, and well-thought lyrics, the result is a piece of music that is far more complex than where it started.