With its release due this Tuesday, Christy Ku reviews the latest release from rising Norwegian vocalist and composer, Emilie Nicolas, Like I’m A Warrior.
“Don’t call me lazy, I go down on him daily”
Like I’m A Warrior
RCA, 7 July 2015
“It will get stormy”, Emilie Nicolas croons angelically on the opening track to her upcoming debut album Like I’m a Warrior. Tipped to be the next big thing in Scandinavia, and with stamps of approval from Radio 1’s Huw Stephens and Greg James, her ice-cool sound is coming to the UK shores.
Small in height and with her dark hair tied back and out of the way, she weaves melancholia with heavy synths and Like I’m a Warrior is a wave that gains force with each track. The simple lyrics tell a story of growing up and waking up to the reality of the world. Nicolas is a 27 year-old singer-song writer and music producer. Growing up in a small town in Norway she had an eclectic musical influence as a child, listening to her dad’s records and all the big 90s stars. Now, she blends electronic, R&B and pop together in a barn just outside of Oslo with her bandmate and co-producer Eivind Helgerød.
The album begins with ‘Nobody Knows’. Her cold and clear voice spirals freely over the drops of electronic sounds and for the first half of the album, the pulsing and popping beats slowly build up. The much acclaimed track ‘Grown Up’ drips with bittersweetness as she picks up the memories and tosses them aside – “I don’t need safety/ I’ve grown up”. It comes with an intimate music video, made up of childhood videos featuring her family and herself.
Whilst the first half, with its clear and crystal sounds, is akin to drifting about in the clouds, the second half takes us dancing in a storm. ‘Let You Out’ warns us of the approach, anchoring itself down with sharp synths and deeper basslines until electronic sounds tear through ‘Fail’. It’s heavy, defiant and antagonistic: “Don’t call me lazy/ I go down on him daily” and “When you’re done for the day/ I’m half done”.
With all the tracks written and co-produced herself, a storm is approaching – and I can’t wait.