Thursday, June 24th, 2021

Jorja Smith ft. Shaybo – Bussdown

Hustling smokily onto the sidebar…


Camille Nibungco: Simmering island drums and a Khruangbin guitar melody hold the focus as Jorja Smith and Shaybo simmer and slither in circles around each other. Jorja’s careful croons about the Hustle(TM) are like a glass of cool milk to Shaybo’s meticulous flow that drips in Yoruban flair. The soulful dancehall construction holds me in a spiritual trance.

Mark Sinker: Love Shaybo as the first figure out in the world publicly to share my obsession with Teresa Mendoza La Reina del Sur (tho she may I suppose mean the eng-lang Alice Braga version, not the way better way wilder Mexican-Spanish Telemundo Kate del Castillo version). Anyway the role of Shaybo’s raps in this cool casual quietly bitter song is to inject rhythmic disorder into the control, until Jorja is basically also just muttering quietly to herself, as the swan’s panicked feet hidden beneath the gliding surface…

Wayne Weizhen Zhang: Oozing sumptuousness and consummate precision, Jorja Smith and Shaybo co-create a calm but fiery banger worthy of the titular portmanteau. 

Nortey Dowuona: The shimmering drums are so settled in the bottom of the mix next to the snugly bass that Jorja’s vaporous voice almost disappears once the guitar slides in. Once overdubs echo through the hallways, it feels a little stronger, but Shaybo’s voice pushes those echoes away, becoming even more disinterested in the fuckery. She settles on Shaybo’s shoulders as she wanders off into the fog, floating on the echoes higher and above the fog and onto the clouds.

Samson Savill de Jong: “Bussdown” has a very enchanting sound. It’s not particularly complex, quiet drum and bass drums and muted electric guitars, but it all works together wonderfully, especially when combined with both of these women’s voices. It sounds so good that on first listen I thought the song was a bit deeper than it really is. It’s about people eating off Jorja and Shaybo’s fame, a fine topic done many times, but they don’t go into a huge amount of depth with it, other than a vague sense of feeling taken advantage of. I’d extend Shaybo’s verses and give her space to really ruminate. Still, this is a very pleasant song to just have on and vibe to.

Alfred Soto: Jorja’s interest in consonants is aspirational, while Shaybo settles into a cone in which the ghosts of several generations of spoken word, like the guitar peals and percussion, don’t scare her a whit. 

Oliver Maier: Languor suits Jorja better than exertion, so the less-is-more approach here — both vocally and instrumentally — pays off (it sounds, I think, a bit like what Billie Eilish is currently gunning for and missing). She’s counteracted by the brisker Shaybo, who adds general sense of form to the track without doing away with its smokiness.

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One Response to “Jorja Smith ft. Shaybo – Bussdown”

  1. 2021 YEAR OF BUSSIN’ IT

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