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There’s purpose behind Shalom’s propulsive debut single

Every Monday, “Add of the Week” unveils all the new songs going into the 88Nine on-air playlist, with one hand-picked selection put in the spotlight by a member of our music team.

Shalom minces no words in the opening moments of “Happenstance,” the first single off her upcoming debut album:

I’m waiting for the day that I can finally walk away from all this bullshit.

Perfect sentiment for a Monday morning, no?

The Brooklyn-by-way-of-Maryland-and-South-Africa-and-New-Jersey artist (full name: Shalom Obisie-Orlu) has a sound that fits her meandering background, tossing in elements from different genres with ease. We first heard it on a couple tracks she released in June after signing with Saddle Creek, and it’s back again on this new single we just added to the 88Nine playlist.

If the opening line of “Happenstance” doesn’t give you a good idea of what you’re in for, the instrumentation that goes along with it will — thrumming bass and muffled snare that feels like it’s itching to bust loose. And bust loose it does at the 36-second mark, bringing in a breakbeat that flings the song forward before dropping in and out the rest of the way.

The energetic-bordering-on-frenetic sound is an effective compliment to Shalom’s deadpan delivery, which itself is an appropriate vehicle for lyrics about wanting to disappear and have people notice you at the same time:

I feel so out of place
I’m just trying to erase myself whenever i get the chance
My need to evaporate and receive validation at the same time
Is just happenstance
Oh it’s happenstance

You can listen to “Happenstance” here and on 88Nine by tuning your FM dial in Milwaukee, or streaming worldwide on our website and mobile app.

This week’s other adds

  • “Carpenter,” Vagabon
  • “By the Lake,” Pale Jay and Okonski
  • “Problems,” Matt Corby
  • “Weightless,” Arlo Parks