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Sally Shapiro

In a sense, Sally Shapiro was both the recording pseudonym of an anonymous Swedish singer and also the name of a duo consisting of that singer and producer/writer Johan Agebjörn, who were together responsible for the music released under the moniker "Sally Shapiro." That music, combining Shapiro's delicate, silvery vocals with Agebjörn's vintage-styled synthesizer dance tracks, was a deliberate and meticulous replication of the sound of 1980s Italo disco, as well as a distillation of the melancholic yet hopeful sentimentality commonly associated with twee indie pop.

The pair first met in 2001, working in an office together, but it wasn't until Christmas 2004 that Agebjörn, a lifelong Italo disco lover, noticed Shapiro's voice while they were singing carols at his piano. He told her she would make an excellent Italo-style singer, and as luck would have it she turned out to be a fan of the genre as well. Shapiro agreed to record vocals for a tune Agebjörn had penned in the style of Valerie Dore and Katy Gray (similarly pseudonymous singers who were backed by obscured writing/production teams), although when they finally got around to it in early 2006, she was so shy that Agebjörn had to leave the room while she sang her part. The resulting track, "I'll Be by Your Side," was almost instantaneously hailed as a modern classic on online disco forums; it was given a vinyl release on the Austrian label Diskokaine that July and was soon championed in such outlets as Pitchfork, Vice, and The Village Voice.

The album Disco Romance followed on Diskokaine in December, containing that song and five more Shapiro/Agebjörn collaborations (one of them, the single "Anorak Christmas," a cover of the Swedish indie pop one-man band Nixon), two remixes, and an ambient Agebjörn instrumental. In October 2007, Canadian-based indie Paper Bag Records released Disco Romance in North America with a revised track listing including three new songs (two by Nixon's Roger Gunnarsson; one of them penned specifically for Shapiro) and the extended version of "I'll Be by Your Side." Shapiro's much-discussed shyness (she refused to record vocals while anyone was in the room) precluded her from music videos or making live appearances to promote the album, although she has given numerous interviews.

The duo still managed to stay in the minds of critics and fans, however, by releasing two albums of remixes, Remix Romance, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 -- which included contributions from artists like Dntel, Holy F**k, the Juan Maclean, Junior Boys, and the Russian Futurists -- in April and June of 2008, respectively. The duo followed up their first album with another that followed a similar format, 2009's My Guilty Pleasure, before taking a break to work on other projects. Shapiro added guest vocals to a song ("Don't Be Afraid") on Anoraak's 2010 album Wherever the Sun Sets while Agebjörn released the excellent Casablanca Nights album in 2011, with many tracks featuring vocals by Shapiro. The duo reconvened in 2011 to record a new album and the result was 2013's Somewhere Else. The album featured the return of Gunnarsson and collaborations with Le Prix and Electric Youth, as well as an alternate version of "Don't Be Afraid." A remix album titled Elsewhere (featuring the Field, Nite Jewel, Young Galaxy, and others) was also issued. In 2014, Sally Shapiro collaborated with French synthwave producer Tommy '86 for a single titled "Why Did I Say Goodbye."

In 2016, the duo announced that they would be going their separate ways, as their tastes in music no longer coincided -- Agebjörn was more into ambient electronic music, while Shapiro was interested in non-electronic pop. They recorded one last single, "If You Ever Wanna Change Your Mind," which was backed by an acoustic cover of David Guetta's "Dangerous" and released as a 7" single by Fika Recordings in May of 2016. ~ K. Ross Hoffman
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Somewhere Else

1. Prescript

2. I Dream With An Angel Tonight

3. All My Life

4. This City's Local Italo Disco DJ Has A Crush On Me

5. What Can I Do

6. If It Doesn't Rain

7. Sundown

8. Starman

9. Lives Together

10. Don't Be Afraid

11. Architectured Love

12. Postscript

x

Track List: Remix Romance, Vol. 1

1. I'll Be By Your Side (Tensnake Remix)

2. I Know You're My Love (Juan Maclean Remix)

3. Find My Soul (Holy F**k Remix)

4. Anorak Christmas (Woodhands Remix)

5. He Keeps Me Alive (Skatebard Remix)

6. Hold Me So Tight (The Cansecos Remix)

7. Skating In The Moonshine (Jon Brooks Remix)

8. Jackie Junior (Junior Boys Remix)

9. Time To Let Go (Lindstrom Remix)

10. Sleep In My Arms (Between Interval Remix)

x

Track List: Miracle (Single)

1. Miracle (Extended Mix)

2. Miracle (Bogdan Irkuk Remix)

3. Miracle (Radio Edit)

4. Miracle (Instrumental)

x

Track List: My Guilty Pleasure Remixes

1. Save Your Love (Lovelock Remix)

2. Looking At The Stars (FM Attack Remix)

3. Love In July (CFCF Remix)

4. Miracle (Bogdan Irkuk Remix)

5. My Fantasy (Bottin Remix)

6. Love In July (Bostro Pesopeo Remix)

7. Swimming Through The Blue Lagoon (Boat Club Remix)

8. Let It Show (Low Motion Disco Remix)

x

Track List: Somewhere Else (Deluxe Edition)

1. Prescript

2. I Dream With An Angel Tonight (Lovelock Remix)

3. I Dream With An Angel Tonight

5. All My Life

6. All My Life (Mitch Murder Remix)

7. This City's Local Italo Disco DJ Has A Crush On Me

9. What Can I Do

11. If It Doesn't Rain

12. This City's Local Italo Disco DJ Has A Crush On Me (Little Boots Discotheque Remix)

13. Sundown

15. Starman

17. Lives Together

19. Don't Be Afraid

20. Lives Together (The Field Remix)

21. Architectured Love

22. Postscript

Comments

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have a nice time in those blueberry fields and thank you
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She sings beautiful!
I love sally. .
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I love this song too much.
Sally Shapiro sings beautiful. .
I LOVE HER!!!
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.I love this song
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"He keeps me alive" is what got me liking her music ^_^
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I love this song
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also, need the My Guilty Pleasure added. takk igjen.
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Pandora, please change the artist tag on the song Anorak Christmas from Sally Shapiro (Holiday) to Sally Shapiro. tusen takk.
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she got the beat
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chuylicious3
she is in on it. she knows. that is what makes it so good.

and the cold is the perfect antithesis to summer.
Report as inappropriate
The music was great till she opened her mouth and started singing "badly"!!! Cutesy voices like hers are just so bland and unimpressive , and come at 10 cents a dozen!
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kathomp3
I like this...I wonder why "Sally" doesn't want to be recognized.. .
Report as inappropriate
erikawhit
"He keeps me alive" Great song! Talented artist
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Too bad she's too afraid to sing in front of anyone or else id for sure go to a show
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I really love her voice.
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I <3 HER :)
Report as inappropriate
I like it. This is good stuff. It's like a butterfly punch to the abdomen without all of the sawdust.
Report as inappropriate
Sally Shapiro is an amazing team. The music is slow, sweeping and lovely, sort of a clash of Saint Etienne meet Stacey Q. I came across one Sally Shapiro's songs randomly on Itune's Pig Radio and became feverish. The music is cold it bites your heart and forces you to both dance and cry-I love it!
Report as inappropriate
Just think Madonna made millions on crap with far less talent than this lady!
The lady posing as Sally Shapiro has a really beautiful voice.
Report as inappropriate
i just wish i could find her disc. i love it!
Report as inappropriate
lovely 2007 music
Report as inappropriate
First time hearing her... very nice :) Has an 80's twinge to it, but also kind of surreal
Report as inappropriate
Beautiful. Very much like OPUS 3. They should be a similar artist. I love Sally's music!

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