Monday, April 8th, 2019

Nilüfer Yanya – In Your Head

If this is in our head, it’s a good place for it to be…


[Video]
[7.78]

Alfred Soto: To keep paranoia at bay with scary guitar sounds has been a trope that everyone from The Temptations to Wire has exploited, and Nilüfer Yanya’s deep voice complements them. A splendid chaser. 
[8]

Vikram Joseph: Nilüfer Yanya’s staccato, almost math-y guitars and anxious, expressive vocals give her songs sharp pinnacles and jagged edges that feel genuinely idiosyncratic and striking. The tentative, bruised harmonics on “Baby Luv” evoked, breathtakingly, the sort of emotional whiplash Yanya described in her lyrics; here, the jarring opening riffs jolt you into alertness, before the propulsive chorus tumbles out, a rock hurtling down a hill, with no regard whatsoever for your conventional centrist-dad ideas about needing to have a verse first. “In Your Head” is another example of how Yanya’s music combines moments of unadulterated musical euphoria with lashings of pain. It deals with trying to make sense of the early stages of promising romance, when the signals are fuzzy and conflicting and it’s hard to separate them from the noise and static: “The longer it takes/read too far into the signs/but that’s what it says/it’s just a matter of time/before we’re out of this place/where we’re no longer trapped/and it’s not in my head.” It’s a fairly inelegant torrent of words, which is perfect, because that’s exactly what it feels like — a snowstorm of over-analytical thoughts and ludicrously amped-up worries. And yet, when that rickety, exuberant synth explodes all over the outro, and you’re caught up in the woozy head-rush of the moment, it couldn’t be more worth it, no matter how it ends. Yanya is writing songs that aren’t just relatable but which viscerally capture the feelings contained within them, and that’s no small feat.
[9]

Iris Xie: It’s like drinking a Starbucks Unicorn latte, then looking at it in your hand and realizing it looks glitchy, and your drink now tastes like and has the texture of broken wires. Then, you see your hand and drink pixelating and evaporating into the air, and then you realize that you live in a simulation and are in the process of being downloaded into a new world through a dial-up connection. The squeaks, yelps, and grizzly guitar riffs sounds more nostalgic than current, like an OK Computer tribute.
[6]

Jonathan Bradley: Scuzz-pop riffing that gets thicker and murkier as it goes. Yanya’s occasional leaps into her higher register offset some of the one-dimensionality, even if they can’t do anything to pick up the pace.
[6]

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: This flags a bit as it goes on, never reclaiming the greatness of its first chorus and verse after they pass. But that first minute-or-so are all power pop glory, a palace of buzzy anxiety built around a perfect guitar riff.
[7]

Nortey Dowuona: Fuzzy, heavy guitar devours warm, puffy-eyed bass while flailing, slamming drums are swung by Yanya’s thunderous roar.
[9]

Edward Okulicz: “In Your Head” is a jittery rock song that benefits hugely from the buzzy bass that underpins it, which gives it some serious hip-shaking potential, and those echoey drums don’t hurt either. The riffs are cool and nonchalant, and Yanya muses at a hundred miles an hour, and I like the incongruence of that a lot as well. I can’t quite piece the story together, but the sounds tell their own.
[8]

Julian Axelrod: “In Your Head” is Nilüfer Yanya’s best song yet because it’s her least internal. Sure, the lyrics detail the complex mind games that come with the death throes of a relationship; it’s so in her wheelhouse it should come with a sailor cap. But musically this is a whole different beast, abandoning the stripped-down despair of her earlier singles for a souped-up shredfest that sounds like a muscle car careening through a wind tunnel. Yanya’s voice is astoundingly nuanced, drawing deep wells of emotion from a single inhalation. But the bigger sound amplifies her instead of drowning her out; for the first time I can picture her bringing down a stadium. It’s fast and freewheeling and feral as fuck, and it feels like liberation in every conceivable way.
[9]

William John: The last time we talked about Nilüfer Yanya around here, I was flush with superlatives — awestruck by her ability to convey the turbulence of being in love in such a convincing way, and with such simple ingredients. “In Your Head” is louder and more forceful than that single, but Yanya’s knack for subtlety hasn’t been lost in her new, maximalist iteration. Here she deftly navigates her way through brickwalled guitar and the see-saw of self-doubt and self-assurance. On paper, the song’s melodic math seems off — the verses are sharp and pithy, sung in staccato, while the chorus is wordy and seems to run on and on, before eventually arriving at memorable repetition — but conventions can be damned when the final product packs this much punch.
[8]

Reader average: [6.71] (7 votes)

Vote: 0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

Leave a Reply