Young romantic Nilüfer Yanya has been making waves of late with her spirited bedroom pop. Do You Like Pain? might be the record that catapults the Londoner to mainstream attention - especially considering her recent appearance in the BBC’s Sound of 2018 list. Her two originals here are concocted largely from drum machines, guitars, saxophone and her breathy, intimate vocal style. Sonic touchstones include Zola Jesus and Angel Olsen. Also features remixes by AlaskaAlaska and Jazzi Bobbi. You heard her here first.
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This little 12” is giving me a morning fright like no other. Using an economical bedroom set up mostly of guitar and drums (with sax, on occasion), Nilüfer Yanya writes songs that rely on precisely landed climaxes and breathtaking dynamics. Honestly, listen to that opener: playing with ominous melodic changes and moments of unbridled bliss, she weaves milliseconds of quiet and loud through her chords and beats ‘til the song becomes impossible to read, a rollercoaster rendering before your eyes.
Matched with a remix that almost points out how much Yanya can get out of a meagre setup, “Baby Luv” becomes a triumph of songwriting, the lovely, sparkly version AlaskaAlaska makes suggesting there’s a few good ways Yanya could push the deviations of her repetitive anthem writing. We’re then on to the title track, “Thanks 4 Nothing”, which sees Yanya’s programmed beat and lounging guitar deceiving us on a whole wave of fury: twanging chord decisions that sound as chill as Mac Demarco meet heartbreaking lyrical cut-offs and well-earned pop-punk crescendos. It’s a triumphant tune busy with Yanya’s work; though her materials are sparse, these songs feel busy with life and narrative, feeling different iterations of her disappointment, dejection and self-determination. Brilliant stuff.
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- Do You Like Pain? by Nilüfer Yanya
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