Photo by Dong Liu
Having just released her new album PAINLESS on the 4th of March, Nilüfer Yanya brought many of its songs to Electric Brixton’s stage on the 16th of March. The London-based indie artist’s latest release contains both the alluring elements of pop music and the agitated strums of rock music, which has clearly attracted longtime fans and new listeners to see her performing live.
Nilüfer’s performance was one of calmness and composure. She stood in a golden dress in the centre of the stage, luring the audience in with her storytelling cadence as she began to sing. She opened the show with her newest songs, including ‘midnight sun,’ ‘belong with you,’ and ‘chase me.’ Her voice was beautifully raw and deep-toned, while her occasional falsetto revealed the vulnerable emotions of homesickness and frustration buried inside her lyrics. These delicate feelings were confessed slowly and gradually as the night went on. The soft accompaniment of the saxophone complemented this minimalist style of hers. The audience gently swayed along to the music as she sang songs from her earlier releases, such as ‘Baby Luv’ and ‘Same Damn Luck.’
Most memorable was her performance of ‘stabilise,’ a stirring and blissful song from her new album. As the song reached its chorus, red lights illuminated the stage and unrestrained energy spread across the crowd as we started to dance indulgently to the captivating guitar riff. However, it was a shame that much of the etherealness embedded in the new album’s production could not be expressed during Nilüfer’s live performance. It was unpreventable, for example, that the highly enjoyable shifts of vocals between the left and the right speakers in ‘L/R’ could not be adapted for the stage.
Nevertheless, the audience was entertained with several nostalgic songs from Nilüfer’s debut album Miss Universe, including ‘Angels’ and ‘In Your Head.’ The show ended with a fan-favourite, ‘Heavyweight Champion of the Year.’ Alongside her choppy chords and cathartic vocals, the night at Electric Brixton was drawn to a satisfying close.
Edited by Talia Andrea, Deputy Music Editor