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Shiloh June’s “Down”

Shiloh June’s “Down” is the latest single from this Maryland-bred and Southern California based singer/songwriter. Her backstory is familiar. June has been singing since an early age and her youthful experience schooled as a classically trained singer supplied her with the necessary foundation for her current success. June hasn’t lived in Southern California area for a terribly long time, but she’s established herself as a presence in the regional music scene thanks to a consistent willingness to put herself out there as well as her innate talent shining through. She’s young still but performs and carries herself in general with the bearing of a veteran performer. “Down” is the latest example of her gifts and far from the last.

Her deep and smoky voice creates instant atmospherics. It’s a perfect fit for the dramatic structure of “Down”; this is songwriting with a strongly theatrical bent. She has the necessary lung power, as well, to cut through the production and announce her presence with each line. There’s variation in her voice as well. June isn’t content with simply one tone throughout the song and her varied approach makes “Down” a far richer musical experience.

It doesn’t lack for wealth, however. June benefits from an arrangement full of fire and overall brio. Electronic instrumentation largely fuels the track’s sound, but it has a natural sound rather than sounding artificial. The arrangement, however, has unquestionable intensity. It reaches near claustrophobic points during assorted passages, but the overall arrangement has a quality of art we wouldn’t normally expect from a nominal pop song.

It complements the lyrical material. June composed “Down” with the theatrical and economical both in mind rather than erring to one side of the ledger. Her lyrics have the necessary brevity to never exhaust listeners or weigh down the arrangement whilst still making substantive statements bursting with observational skills and vulnerability alike. The production continues the trend of framing the overall work against a theatrical backdrop without ever diluting its emotional punch.

The song likewise has a serviceable length certain to never tire listener’s patience. June has the canny instincts of a veteran songwriter/performer, once again, by demonstrating her talent without ever overreaching. “Down” has an epic sound, full-throated and impassioned, without ever overstepping. It’s the latest single from a prodigious talent that will only continue growing and expanding her purview in coming years. Shiloh June is a first rate musical artist, a fine collaborator as evidenced by her collaboration in the alex&shiloh duo, and we’ll be hearing from her again.

Actually many more times as the years march on. She has staying power. The aforementioned passion, intelligence, and musical skill shown by this single will only take deeper root over time. Shiloh June’s “Down” is an invigorating rebuke to those who otherwise believe that the pop song is finished as an art form. Consider this track a return to sender for such prognostications. “Down” will be a more than satisfying listening experience for many and is certain to make many new converts to her art. 

Mindy McCall



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