Grammy winner Alessia Cara is back with her first solo music of the year, dropping two singles: “Sweet Dream” and “Shapeshifter.” The songs mark a new era for the Brampton-born singer-songwriter, as they will be part of her upcoming third album.
“The theme of duality is recurring on this next album, so it made sense to release two songs to introduce both ends of the thread,” Cara tells Complex. “The first side being ‘Sweet Dream’ which represents the hardship and helplessness surrounding my last couple of years. It’s about insomnia and the hoops my brain jumps through at night while I’m supposed to be asleep. Never fun!”
“Sweet Dream” is candied pop, and sounds like a natural progression of Cara’s other songs, such as “Trust My Lonely.” Despite its downcast themes, the upbeat, addictive melodies are a playful and fun side of Cara that listeners don’t always get to hear.
Check out the video for “Sweet Dream” above.
Cara also explains that “Shapeshifter,” which is smoother and jazzier than most of Cara’s previous releases, is “witty and sophisticated in a way that I feel represents the more mature and light-hearted parts of the album.” The track is a clear nod to Amy Winehouse, one of Cara’s inspirations. There are lush harmonies and the harp gives it a serene, sparkling feel. The fact that it was produced by Salaam Remi Gibbs, one of Winehouse’s producers, is the cherry on top. “I had to go through lots of pain to regain my footing and this song feels unwavering, despite it not being about the happiest of things,” she says.
Listen to “Shapeshifter” below.
The music video for “Shapeshifter” will be out on July 23. She will also be part of an upcoming Metallica tribute album, and will join the band alongside Billie Eilish, The Weeknd, BTS more on September 25 for their Global Citizen concert.