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John Askew & Shelby Merry Reunite for “Steady & Stronger”



John and Shelby’s paths first crossed when the former relocated Ms. Merry’s “When Darkness Comes” from its folk/country origins to the heart-and-centre of 2022’s international clubfloors. Since John and the Ohio-born/Nashville-based singer have stayed in contact, always contemplating a follow up to its success. The perfect opportunity presented itself with the ten-year anniversary of Shelby’s Young Guns album, and a plan was hatched to thoroughly re-imagine one of John’s favorites from its number.

It was the song’s introspective braveries that first singled it out to John. “Steady & Stronger’”taps into the coming-of-age reflections that follow adulthood’s first meaningful happenings, the insight they bring, but also the toll they can take.

Musically, John’s highlights each verse/chorus progression with its own individual element. 303-seeded bass drives her opening words, while his cascading melodies emotively catch Shelby’s “my God, I’m coming home” refrain. Further in, the raw, recalled honesty of “being young” and sometimes being “too terrified to speak”, are underpinned by his long, drawn strings. Finally, John gates the synths and re-engages the drums, as tech jabs and multi-layered vocals emphasize Shelby’s spiritually elevating “so this voice will sing harder, steady & stronger” hook. A stunningly executed production, brilliantly playing to its song’s strengths, “Steady & Stronger” is out now on all mayor streaming platforms.