Nakhane - You Will Not Die
It’s not often that artists find a balance between emotionally charged electro pop and soaring soul ensembles. You Will Not Die, the new album from South Africa’s Nakhane, is equal parts smooth and gritty; a beautiful summarisation of queer life.
‘Violent Measures’ is sparse and ethereal; a bold opening track that wisely relies heavily on Nakhane’s soft, operatic voice. In similar style to that of Perfume Genius, Nakhane blends his atmospheric charm into sophomore track. ‘Clairvoyant’ is a dance-inspired track with electrifying retro synthetics and pop sensibilities.
‘Interloper’ is an anthem for true love, with instruments that pound like a heartbeat, leading into ‘You Will Not Die’, the album’s titular track. ‘You Will Not Die’ is a downtempo single, that takes stride from cinematic choral melodies. The track captures a beautiful realisation of self-worth and integrity.
Similarly, there’s a spiritual weariness in ‘Presbyteria’. The track builds upon contemporary understandings of faith in a beautiful aura of post-rock influence that is comparable to ‘Svefn-G-Englar’ by Sigur Rós. ‘The Dead’ and ‘Star Red’ are soulful singles that seize the immersive spirit of You Will Not Die and round out the middle of the album.
‘Fog’ is a personal favourite track. Through a grandiose scale that weaves together the thematic material, ‘Fog’ gives You Will Not Die purpose. It’s soulful progression is enrichened with an overarching techno influence. ‘By the Gullet’ continues to blend tech influenced beats immersing the single further into the urban realm.
‘All Along’ blends soul into distortion, leading into the euphoric closing track, ‘Teen Prayer’. The final two tracks conclude the flurry of genres that Nakhane built throughout You Will Not Die’s progression.
Nakhane’s production prowess is a prime example of what happens when you successfully merge soul and urban. I can’t wait to see what’s next.