Following up her last great single was no easy feat, but Virginia Beach’s Shaolinn was more than up for the task. This week she’s announced her new project, Blackstone, will be out on September 24 through Heir Wave Music. She’s also shared a new single and video, and, if anything, “Vivian” is yet another level up for the young singer.
Another strikingly honest, bracingly real song from the singer, it follows a young woman caught between addiction and heartbreak, the two ultimately overwhelming her. Shaolinn’s words are piercing, “I bought it again, now I’m losing all of my friends.” The tragedy is that the words apply to both the narrator’s woes: she loses everything by putting too much trust in those around her as well as her seemingly inevitable overdose.
Shaolinn herself sums up the song succinctly, “‘Vivian’ is from the perspective of a drug addict and someone who’s willing to really do anything to get their hands on a substance. Sometimes they can get to the point where they want to quit but the addiction is so strong that they can’t.”
The musical backdrop matches this state of panic perfectly, with skittering, insistent drums and a distant, mournful riff. Then the track transforms before its end, mutating and slowing things done for its tragic finale. Yet, dominant over everything is Shaolinn’s assured, omnipresent voice and carefully selected words.