Sunday, December 5th, 2021

Nilüfer Yanya – Stabilise

On firm ground…


Harlan Talib Ockey: I was going to write a lengthy paragraph about how perfectly this song portrays the strung-out spiral of catastrophizing where it feels like every little thing is eroding you and life never gets better, but I could probably just sum it up like this: listening to “Stabilise” makes me want to vomit.

Iain Mew: “You’re going nowhere” and it sounds like it in a pretty unique way: voice boxed in, echoing unnaturally and scratching its way out through narrow gaps. The result is that when the chorus hits like The xx, with a vast new clarity and space, it’s a revelation. Not that Nilüfer Yanya stays there long before managing to find yet another effective mode.

Claire Biddles: A new single by Nilüfer Yanya is always an exciting prospect — I usually love her fizzy, unpredictable songs, and how she utilises her voice and guitar as their twin unreliable narrators. From its drum machine opening, the propelling consistency of “Stabilise” serves to iron out all the musical kinks that make Yanya such an intriguing artist. Her deadpan vocals rising slightly to meet the chorus is a nice slow-burn vocal trick but otherwise this is just too 6 Music also-ran to meet my high expectations.

Oliver Maier: Taken on its own I might find the hook here too staid, even with the fun surf rock incisions running through it. Taken in conjunction with the off-kilter, Tirzah-ish verses however, the whole thing is eccentric enough for a thumbs-up.

Wayne Weizhen Zhang: Manically moving but steadfast, not unlike the matter of an atom vibrating in place. “Stabilise” is less a display of stability than it is an argument against its necessity. 

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: Congratulations to this year’s winner of the Charly Bliss Prize For Excellence In Angular Guitars.

Alfred Soto: Flirting with DOR but reluctant to commit, she double tracks her murmuring, occasionally strumming chords that evoke Franz Ferdinand and an era as distant as the Pleistocene.

Nortey Dowuona: The sidewinding guitar line under Nilüfer’s soft voice nearly buries it, the hammering kicks and screwing hi-hats and snares surging beneath, until the bass trips over its feet joining in and buoys the chorus. It’s almost as if Nilüfer is beckoning you to come a little bit closer, to pay a little more attention since she’s not going to shout, and so you creep closer, and closer, and closer until she disappears, and the guitar and hammering snares snap shut, cutting your throat.

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