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Joe Boston writes and produces warm yet melancholy electronic pop under the name Shallou. His songs are generally bright and sparkling and contain mid-tempo beats, yet as relaxed and summery as they seem, the lyrics are often quite sorrowful and forlorn. His 2018 release Souls reached the Top 25 in Billboard’s Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart. His major label debut, Magical Thinking, appeared in 2020, and he incorporated more acoustic instruments into his sound on 2021′s The Long Way Home.
Raised in Maryland, Boston attented college in New Orleans, began making music as Shallou in 2014, and moved to Chicago soon after. While his early songs featured his vocals, they were usually fragmented and textural; it wasn’t until later that he began composing fully lyrical tracks. The 2016 singles “Doubt [Summer Edit]” and tropical house track “Heights” received much online play, and Shallou (with Boston joined by Emilio Quezada) toured with artists such as El Ten Eleven and Roosevelt. In 2017, Shallou released a cover of Radiohead’s “Motion Picture Soundtrack” and an original EP titled All Becomes Okay. A trio of singles, including the Kasbo and Cody Lovaas collaboration “Find,” preceded Shallou’s follow-up EP, Souls, which arrived in April 2018. Also included on the album was the single “Lie” featuring Riah.
A couple of stand-alone singles, “All Your Days” and “Fading,” appeared in 2019, and early the following year, Shallou issued his full-length debut, Magical Thinking, through Island Records. He was featured on Petit Biscuit’s single “I Leave Again.” The Long Way Home, an introspective EP inspired by visiting seaside towns and escaping city life, was released by FADER Label in late 2021, followed by The Long Way Home (Remixes). ~ Paul Simpson