HASAN MAHMOOD

COSMIC JAZZINESS pulses through Portland art-pop duo Sheers’ self-titled debut. Frontwoman Lily Breshears is known for her work with Big Haunt and Haley Heynderickx, but this EP marks her bold solo debut. Its four tracks hang in an airtight stillness where each small sound is a delicate but tremendous starburst.

Opener “In Case” finds Breshears commanding this space, her deep vocals set against a cascading piano line that seems to tumble and crash in Grant Piece’s jazz percussion. “Depth” sounds like a steady march into the sonic underworld, each ominous synth tone another step down the staircase. The minimalist instrumentation of “Take Your Time” gives Breshears’ voice room, growing throughout the song like slow-creeping vines. And closing track “Kristoffer” is the record’s standout—an unconventional symphony of distorted and looped vocals, stormy piano melodies, and layered beats, all tethered down by weighty synth and the haunting repetitions, “I know you’re better/Oh, Kristoffer.”

These four tracks sound like classical compositions that have been warped and weathered by space-age production. That’s Breshears’ greatest strength as a musician—marrying old and new sounds seamlessly. Sheers is classically influenced pop, but wanders to the furthest outskirts of tradition.