Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

apple juice is a short but interesting glimpse into a female-focused, textural sound from niina

"apple juice"

Release date: 17 November 2023
niina – apple juice – album artwork
17 November 2023, 11:00 Written by Chloe Johnson

Niina’s world, now represented by waves of bubble-gum pink hair, first came into focus for listeners with a self-released EP 2 High 2 Cry in September 2021.

She has quickly carved a place for herself, part-fuelled by the mystery of her mostly anonymous identity – instead opting to appear as a collective female unit, her ‘niina girls’ – and partly by niina’s own aesthetic homage to syrupy-sweet soundscapes with a strong message of female empowerment that makes her work so recognisable.

“gimme gimme,” released as one of the singles to precursor the EP, picks up apple juice where the producer, singer-songwriter and creative left off. With the tongue-in-cheek femme energy that made ‘miss u’ the sparkling success of previous EP 100 dollar bill, and an ability to explore female-fuelled pain and openness over classic electronic airy synths, “gimme gimme” is the fast-paced charming sequel that manages to maintain niina’s bedroom-pop sensibilities with a deeply textural blend of pulsating tones. The accompanying visuals show her ‘niina girls’ on a glittering night out that nails down the tone for the rest of the record: if “miss u” was a lament, “gimme gimme” is the smoke clearing, the rest of the record an exploration in starting afresh.

“apple juice” itself, the title track, follows suit with being futuristic and experimental – and “summer in the rain” switches tack to focus on sadness, conflating memory with music, but at a distance. Softly spoken and anxiously driven voice notes are swept away by the current of persistent, hazy beats that languish like a wave crashing on the shore; “You sat for a while / But you got bored and I got faded / And I wanna be better, babe / But nothing ever changes.” The track is interesting as it never quite delivers on the promise it appears to build to, inspired by a dark time that has now passed with emotions kept at bay. The standout of the album is undoubtedly “5 floors.” Situated at the end of the EP, it’s a spritely track that gives an updated version of a similar dreamy aura that captivated listeners with Piri & Tommy’s “on & on,” combined with an edge of colourful grittiness that leans on 90’s influences whilst still being firmly made in 2023; it’s a perfect concoction of listenable vibes.

Ultimately, apple juice is another interesting glimpse into what makes niina a creator worth watching, an escapist record that processes the world through a female-focused gaze, and there’s much to admire. However, it continues to grow an appetite for a longer, more expansive piece of work in the future from the artist.

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