Nina Nesbitt catches up with us on album that feels like a diary
It took Nina Nesbitt two weeks short of five years to finally release her sophomore album. The Scottish singer-songwriter dropped her debut Peroxide, full of guitar based singer-songwriter pop, back in 2014 and it is safe to say that a lot has changed in those five years. 2019’s Nina Nesbitt looks and sounds nothing like the girl we saw and heard in 2014. But did we really have to miss her for five years? Although the wait for sophomore album was a long one, Nina was never out of sight for too long. She dropped two EPs in 2016 and already released the first singles of The Sun Will Come Up, The Seasons Will Change back in 2017. Although we already heard six of the new album’s tracks, Nina Nesbitt still managed to create a compelling record that clearly tells her story!
Now that Nesbitt doesn’t do folky, guitar based singer-songwriter pop anymore, what exactly does she sound like? The Sun Will Come Up, The Seasons Will Change is an eclectic yet cohesive record with a style that could best be described as Pop with a capital P. She serves us light electronic productions, stripped back synth-, piano and guitar ballads and some proper R&B throwbacks. The early noughties R&B influences came to life with the help of hit producer Fraser T. Smith. With him, Nina created the absolutely brilliant ‘Loyal To Me’, on which she advises other girls on how to recognize it when guys are not being honest. Next single ‘Colder’ describes how all lying partners and failed relationships changed the way she approaches dates now. The new track ‘Love Letters’ sound like it was taken straight from a 2001 R&B album and Nina owns the sound completely.
The first two singles, ‘The Moments I’m Missing’ and ‘The Best You Had’, both stand out because of their honest, sentimental lyrics filled with nostalgia, whether it is looking back at her childhood or relationship. Nina’s almost diary-like writing runs through the whole album. On the perfect opener ‘Sacred’ she sings about her quest for pure and ‘sacred’ interactions, the anthemic pop tune ‘Empire’ describes her insecurities, ambitions and hard work in the music industry while on ‘Chloe’, she looks back at the moment one of her best friends told her she was pregnant and how they grew apart. Nina is not necessarily the most poetic pop star out there, but her lyrics always come across sincere, believable and relatable.
On a personal album like this, written by a singer-songwriter in her mid-twenties, we of course find some love and heartbreak too. ‘Things I Say When You Sleep’ is an intimate ballad on which Nina admits she finds it scary to tell her love interest that she loves him, so she does so when he is asleep. The lyrics vividly paint the scene and the vulnerability of it all matches with the stripped back sound of the song. On ‘Is It Really Me You’re Missing’ she asks exactly the question in the title, wondering if the person she is seeing is just calling anyone because he is lonely, or actually wants just her. This might be her strongest vocal performance to date, as her voice embodies the insecurity and doubt of the lyrics.
Nina Nesbitt’s The Sun Will Come Up, The Seasons Will Change almost feels like a coming of age story, describing the past five years of her life in a relatable manner. Also important, every single song has something memorable sonically as well. The record swings when it needs to and just as easily moves us with the soaring choruses of the slower tracks. Nina Nesbitt is vulnerable yet powerful and honest on her well produced and deliciously poppy sophomore record!