Toronto artist STORRY finds solace in the comforting nature of pop music – it’s a balm through which hurt of all varieties can be addressed and exorcised, cast off through galloping rhythms and intimate lyrical narratives. Her sound is drawn from the histories of R&B, soul, and modern pop but evinces such a tangled and complicated aesthetic that no genre feels completely appropriate.
Born to Lebanese and Greek parents, she developed a musical aptitude early, eventually working as a opera trainee before various traumas unwillingly led her elsewhere. She overcame those terrible things and refocused on her music, releasing her debut single, “Leave My Heart Behind“, in 2019. She would go on to share her debut album, CH III: The Come Up, in 2020, followed by her INTERLUDE – 19 EP later that same year. She was nominated for the JUNO Award twice and found accolades across various outlets for her brutally honest and insightful musical offerings.
She released the new single “Intimate Abuse” last month, and it finds her continuing to delve into thoughts of emotional and physical inadequacy, while simultaneously trying to subvert the feelings that these ideas invoke. She questions how someone could love her and why someone might be compelled to give of themselves for her. It’s an unequivocally severe perspective, but she uses the song as way to work through these doubts and the resulting self-evisceration to discover hope buried somewhere beneath all the negative thought swirling around in her head.
Crystalline and immediate, the music boasts immaculate production, blending the grooves of neo-soul with the contagious movements of mainstream pop music. The melodies are warped, twisted and then flung back together in a mass of catchy choruses and shifting rhythmic loyalties. However, she wasn’t quite done with the song, wanting to go back and explore its intricate details in a different way. And so she returned to the studio to approach the song through a more stripped-down viewpoint, leading with gorgeous piano lines and unveiling an even more vulnerable world hidden within.
“Most of my songs start out as piano-voice demos that then get produced into fully realized instrumentation,” recalls STORRY. ‘Intimate Abuse’ was actually the opposite – while Tadhg [Daly] and I were writing lyrics and melodies, Dustin [Dooley] was producing the record at the same time. When I played ‘Intimate Abuse’ to my best friend and pianist – Tom Baum – we immediately felt compelled to create a piano-voice version. It was nice to have my bestie play on this acoustic record with me. He’s seen the eb and flow of my life and attempts at figuring out romantic love. This stripped down version gives it that next level of…intimacy.