#18 Nilüfer Yanya: Painless

Troubled don’t count the ways I’m broken
Your troubles won’t count, not once we’ve spoken
What troubles me now if I tear this open
Some people won’t have the faintest notion


OK, seriously though, not being funny, yeah? But where the fuck did this come from?

Nilüfer’s 2019 debut ‘Miss Universe‘ was… pretty dang good. Like, decent little record that, lots of good fun. Some absolute guaranteed bops, trust me. The album itself didn’t make the Necessary Evil 2019 countdown, but I liked it enough to include opening track In Your Head at #79 in that year’s Legit Bosses, admitting that I should have invested more time in the album.

I also said, erm…

Ah. Shut up!

But this. This! This second record is an absolutely extraordinary leveling up. ‘Miss Universe’ was, to use the technical term, rollicking good fun. Nilüfer (aw man, I am loving the opportunity to use so many umlauts. This is my heroin) could and should have probably just leaned into it, another great little collection of bops could have secured her that early afternoon spot at V Festival for, like, the next decade. Pepsi Max advert soundtracks? She got it.

But instead Nilüfer (🤤) decided that, no, this follow up is going to be a searing and bold dissection of alienation that incredibly exhibits her songwriting talent. And yet, not only does she do this; not only does she expand her musical palette with R&B, alt-rock, blues and even Radiohead,; but she does all this without sacrificing the bops! Far, far, far too often, musical artists conflate expanding and (spit) maturing their craft means jettisoning such plebeian pass times like writing good songs. Often, maybe an artist simply finds themselves losing the ability to create bangers, so hide that loss behind the muddied shield of ‘experimentation*’. With ‘Painless’ though, Nilüfer (🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩) artfully expands the very process of crafting pop music. But, yeah, still plenty of bangers for that V Festival performance.

(*for experimentation read ‘synths’)

She was also born in 1995, so fuck her, right?

I didn’t know I could post emojis. You are all in danger.


Metacritic: 83

2 thoughts on “#18 Nilüfer Yanya: Painless

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