Review by Marley Scheld

November 16, 2020

Shimmer Johnson has a lot of star power that starts in her name and flows all the way through her music and lyrics. The Canadian born singer/songwriter has a strong grasp on portraying honest emotions in her music, which you can see especially in her newest single “Never Be the Same.”

The lyrics explore Johnson’s mother’s death, which happened several years ago and ever since, things haven’t been the same (hence the title). It’s soft and sad, like the perfect lullaby to cry yourself to sleep. In a time where everyone’s hope has been tested day after day, Johnson offers a sort of candor that’s almost more comforting than any false sympathy or hope you receive in loss.

“When everything you see is gone, please don’t say it’s okay, that I’ll make it through, when all I feel is pain,” she beckons. She doesn’t want sympathy or pity, but rather, a hand to hold through the pain. The repeated line “life will never be the same” acts as a mantra in order to acknowledge the dark reality she faces. It’s acceptance of her pain.

But there are flickers of hopefulness through the reality of her suffering. She isn’t alone. She doesn’t have to do this by herself. “Carry me to another place,” she pleads in the first verse. “Let’s make this nightmare disappear,” she sings with her enchanting voice. Although she is accepting of her pain, there is hope that other people can guide her through the healing.

Johnson’s honesty about her grief is something we’ve all dealt with, especially in this year alone. Pity and sympathy and false hope won’t do anything for our suffering. Shimmer Johnson knows that, and her devastating honesty is refreshingly hopeful in the darkest times.

Click to stream "Never Be The Same"

  • Caitlin Dwinnell

    on January 29, 2021

    Ah, all the feels! This is such a great song for COVID times.

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Marley Scheld is a New Jersey native and recent college graduate who enjoys discovering and sharing new music. When she's not listening to music, she plays keyboard or roller skates.

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