james debate
james debate

Friday 26 April 2019

Genre Indie Rock
Label ATO
Producers Nilüfer Yanya

nilufer yanya miss universe best new debut album 2019

Nilüfer Yanya has been on this blog's radar for a while, initially previewed in our 2018 Hot List, and then again in this year's edition, not to mention a routine fixture in the pundits' hype machine of upcoming musical talent. Clearly then, there had been enough quality in the EPs and demo tracks to catch not only my attention, but the attention of much of the industry. An undoubted talent, but still probably few would have expected debut LP Miss Universe to show quite as much ambition as it does.

Beneath its deceptively relaxed musical aesthetics, Miss Universe hints at a rather more dystopian worldview, complete with amoral corporate infomercials, lyrics of helplessness and social anxiety. The result is an album that is surprisingly weighty yet with an introspective angle. The fact that it somewhat successfully manages to achieve this sophistication whilst still delivering some memorable tunes is a testament to the impressive songwriting here.

The album's second track In Your Head serves as a good example of what to expect. Musically it sounds for all the world an indie staple, but lyrically it's full of paranoia and self-doubt. These are songs that can be sparing and understated when they want to be, as with Paralysed, or soaring and anthemic as shown by probably the strongest song on the album, Angels. In her finest moments, Nilüfer Yanya's sound captures the raw energy of Amy Macdonald, the contemplative minimalism of Sampha, and the spiky lyricism of the Strokes or Pixies.

For this artist to show such mastery of her craft on the first attempt lays down a marker that she is not just another ephemeral pop starlet, but a truly original voice. This is by no means a perfect or groundbreaking album, but it is a bold and fascinating statement from an exciting new talent. We will watch her career with great interest.

Must Listen :
In Your Head

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