Galactic Shores: a single by LAILANA
London-based, Lebanese-Filipino singer-songwriter Lailana Shouly (stylised as LAILANA) has recently released the debut song of her upcoming EP, Galactic Shores. Galactic Shores will be the first of four songs to be featured in her EP of the same name, all of which will tell — as per the artist’s own words — a “modern day love tragedy” from the perspective of Lailana’s alter ego, “Galactica Shora, an aquatic alien”. Lailana’s ‘aquatic alien’ identity (which will hopefully be omnipresent in this EP) is woven into the track through synths — ebbing and flowing throughout the song.
LAILANA divulges that she has started writing the EP since 2019, which is “about the tantalising uncertainty of when you start to fall for someone at the first stage of the relationship”.
LAILANA describes Galactic Shores as a song that is an “overload of happiness, the comfort of being in each other’s company, and… the uncertainty of knowing if this new potential partner is going to be the one” — and it certainly reflects in the music. Galactic Shores is an optimistic track, and just as mysterious. Her cleverly fluid use of synths, vocal harmonies, and panning effectively creates a hypnotic atmosphere that is reminiscent of a trance-like state that is often associated with falling in love.
LAILANA’s musical background in opera and musical theatre shines throughout the track, which is revealed to the listener through her inventive use of word painting — wherein the instrumental accompaniment reflects the expressions conveyed by the lyrics. Listen out for 00:13-00:33 of the track, where Lailana sings ‘In the wake of night / You open your heart more’ just before percussion is introduced, mimicking an unsteady heartbeat. The song moves on with the vocalist, indeed, opening her heart more as she reveals her inner thoughts and emotions. The technique is subtle, but effective — it can be very easily missed, but you can definitely feel it: very much like falling in love.
LAILANA told us more about working on this track in production, where she and her producer David Waters increased the tempo halfway through the song in order to “mimic how you feel when your heart is racing when you first fall in love… that excitement… when you start to fall in love with someone”. You can hear this in the song’s second verse, where the change is obvious — but somehow comes naturally.
LAILANA’s music is motivated by emotions which are explored through intuitive melodies, and Galactic Shores is no different. What distinguishes this EP from the others, however, is storytelling that is done through a different perspective. This is new for LAILANA, whose past music is very heavily inspired by her personal experiences.
This track shows great promise for what’s to come, and it should be a treat to previous listeners. This song’s structure, for one, is not adherent to the common form used in pop music (verse / pre-chorus / chorus / verse / pre-chorus / chorus / bridge / chorus). Galactic Shores adopts a verse / chorus / verse / chorus / fadeout structure, with a longer second verse that Lailana describes as “more of a spoken word”. This unconventional structure undoubtedly highlights LAILANA’s experimental pursuits, and could possibly be an allusion to the EP’s out-of-this-world “alien” quality.
As the EP’s opening song, Galactic Shores’ hopeful and indulgent sound sets the tone of this “modern day love tragedy” — perhaps lulling us in a false sense of security as the EP takes a heartbreaking turn.
Galactic Shores EP will be released on 5th June 2021, for which LAILANA will be hosting a virtual release party. To join, you can find more information on Lailana's website.
This article was written by the talented Shania Essah Aurelio