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Sally Shapiro

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  • Born: Sweden
  • Years Active: 2000s
  • Recent Activity: 01.11.16 RT @PaperBagRecords: Remembering David Bowie: @johanagebjorn picks "Art Decade": https://t.co/Rlvyajw6Rh #RememberingDavidBowie
  • Sally Shapiro


Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

In a sense, Sally Shapiro is both the recording pseudonym of an anonymous Swedish singer and also the name of a duo consisting of that singer and producer/writer Johan Agebjörn, who are together responsible for the music released under the moniker "Sally Shapiro." That music, combining Shapiro's delicate, silvery vocals with Agebjörn's vintage-styled synthesizer dance tracks, is a deliberate and meticulous replication of the sound of 1980s Italo disco, as well as a distillation of the melancholic yet hopeful sentimentality commonly associated with twee indie pop.

The pair first met in 2001, working in an office together, but it wasn't until Christmas 2004 that Agebjörn, a lifelong Italo disco lover, noticed Shapiro's voice while they were singing carols at his piano. He told her she would make an excellent Italo-style singer, and as luck would have it she turned out to be a fan of the genre as well. Shapiro agreed to record vocals for a tune Agebjörn had penned in the style of Valerie Dore and Katy Gray (similarly pseudonymous singers who were backed by obscured writing/production teams), although when they finally got around to it in early 2006, she was so shy that Agebjörn had to leave the room while she sang her part. The resulting track, "I'll Be by Your Side," was almost instantaneously hailed as a modern classic on online disco forums; it was given a vinyl release on the Austrian label Diskokaine that July and was soon championed in such outlets as Pitchfork, Vice, and The Village Voice.

The album Disco Romance followed on Diskokaine in December, containing that song and five more Shapiro/Agebjörn collaborations (one of them, the single "Anorak Christmas," a cover of the Swedish indie pop one-man band Nixon), two remixes, and an ambient Agebjörn instrumental. In October 2007, Canadian-based indie Paper Bag Records released Disco Romance in North America with a revised track listing including three new songs (two by Nixon's Roger Gunnarsson; one of them penned specifically for Shapiro) and the extended version of "I'll Be by Your Side." Shapiro's much-discussed shyness (she still refuses to record vocals while anyone is in the room) precluded her from music videos or making live appearances to promote the album, although she has given numerous interviews.

The duo still managed to stay in the minds of critics and fans, however, by releasing two albums of remixes, Remix Romance, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 -- which included contributions from artists like Dntel, Holy Fuck, the Juan Maclean, Junior Boys, and the Russian Futurists -- in April and June of 2008, respectively. The duo followed up their first album with another that followed a similar format, 2009's My Guilty Pleasure, before taking a break to work on other projects. Shapiro added guest vocals to a song ("Don't Be Afraid") on Anoraak's 2010 album Wherever the Sun Sets while Agebjörn released the excellent Casablanca Nights album in 2011, with many tracks featuring vocals by Shapiro. The duo reconvened in 2011 to record a new album and the result was 2013's Somewhere Else. The album featured the return of Gunnarsson and collaborations with Le Prix and Electric Youth, as well as an alternate version of "Don't Be Afraid."

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eMusic Features


Interview: Sally Shapiro

By Laura Studarus, Contributor

Sally Shapiro is genuinely happy to be a part-time diva. Having eschewed the trappings of a full-time music career (no late-night performances or tireless promo appearances, and all but a handful of interviews), what we know about her is largely derived from her three albums of unapologetically romantic Italo disco. While Shapiro will admit that she prefers not to sing anything she can't identify with, the details of Shapiro's personal life — and even her… more »


Schizo-Pop! A Guide to Musicians and Their Alternate Personae

By Laura Studarus, Contributor

Whether it's on account of creativity bursting at the seams, or just a desire to try something musically or lyrically different from their previous work, sometimes artists feel the need to step outside themselves and create an entirely new persona. The syndrome that's kept psychologists busy for years has manifested itself in concept albums, live performances or just the occasional one-off single. Inspired by Nicki Minaj's sophomore album Roman Reloaded — where Minaj channels her… more »


  • 01.11.16 RT @PaperBagRecords: Remembering David Bowie: @johanagebjorn picks "Art Decade": https://t.co/Rlvyajw6Rh #RememberingDavidBowie
  • 12.06.15 RT @johanagebjorn: some "On Golden Wings I Fly" live footage from yesterday's live performance in Hässleholm Sweden - https://t.co/hRu99Ifx…
  • 12.06.15 RT @tommy_80s: #TommysFavorites // "All My Life" by @sallyshapiro, remixed by @mitch_murder // https://t.co/DzE8gTwnaV
  • 11.06.15 In case you missed our remix album Elsewhere feat @littleboots @mitch_murder @thefield_axel @stevemoore2600 etc - https://t.co/z3SM0U4rOm
  • 09.21.15 RT @johanagebjorn: On October 10th I will perform live for the first time in over 9 years! Welcome to Hässleholm!https://t.co/AA6v86Wi73 ht…
  • 09.16.15 RT @VinylTapLatest: Sally Shapiro - Disco Romance | £20.99 | #sallyshapiro #other #vinyl arrived in stock see: http://t.co/J14sMR9AWq http:…
  • 08.27.15 RT @johanagebjorn: mixing down the new @sallyshapiro single
  • 08.27.15 Since the last repress soldout: Disco Romance white 2LP ltd ed out now! http://t.co/8lt5wTxVk8 http://t.co/dW9dECm00G http://t.co/KlM3QkmQR9
  • 03.02.15 RT @NoiseyMusic: Enter a dream with the new video for "You Passed Through" by Johan Agebjorn and Young Galaxy. http://t.co/DhYr6IOMJw http:…
  • 02.25.15 RT @_electricyouth: This @johanagebjorn Best Thing cover passes @alt_J's cover of A Real Hero as our fav cover of one of our songs yet!: ht…
  • 02.16.15 RT @Unrecordedmu: .@johanagebjorn's Notes is so damn subtle and yet so harrowing and beautiful, almost seasonal http://t.co/e5KI7jckZy http…
  • 02.12.15 RT @johanagebjorn: "Notes" gets 9/10 in @DJmag ! Thank you ! :) http://t.co/OWedc715YE