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Nina Nesbitt unveils her most mature offering to date with Älskar

"Älskar"

Release date: 02 September 2022
8/10
Nina Nesbitt - Alskar cover
02 September 2022, 13:00 Written by Lana Williams
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Hailed as being one of the best solo artists to come out of Scotland, much adored pop-princess, Nina Nesbitt has made a welcome comeback with the release of her third full-length offering Älskar.

Making her way onto the music scene in 2011 with her Live Take EP featuring acoustic renditions of her early works, followed by 2013’s release of her debut album Peroxide, Älskar takes its place as her most mature offering to date. Sitting at a dozen tracks long, the album weaves through a foray of delicately penned narratives that detail the trials and tribulation of modern post-adolescent life. Demonstrating her growth, not only as a person but as a singer-songwriter, the record goes from exploring generational differences (“Dinner Table”) to lamenting on heartache (“When You Lose Someone”), all the while maintaining her upbeat outlook.

Nesbitt has moved firmly away from her folky roots that are found prevalent on “Noserings and Shoestrings” and “The People” to opt for a more electro-pop infused sound that leans on the use of synthesisers and vocal effects to incite her staple summery aura.

Opening with the crackly, eerie, spoken-word collage of “Gaol,” a kaleidoscope of “I love you”’s are echoed throughout – before transitioning into the toe-tapping energy of the second cut – setting the scene for the narrative of the album.

A theme endemic to this record is reminiscing and dabbling in nostalgia (“Teenage Chemistry” and “Dinner Table”) that is upheld by swooning vocals and swirling electronic intonations. Where nostalgia can be euphoria-inducing or results in being plunged into heartache, Nina’s recollection of past events highlights the need to reflect on past experiences – whether difficult of not.

The three tracks plucked from the album and released as singles (“Pressure Makes Diamonds, “Dinner Table” and “When You Lose Someone”) aptly demonstrate the variations in atmosphere found veined throughout. Where the alt-pop “Pressure Makes Diamonds” places an emphasis on the importance picking yourself back up when navigating the erosion of a relationship, “When You Lose Someone” contrasts by encouraging the value of ‘feeling your feelings’.

In the second half of Älskar, the stripped back nature of “Older Guys” propels Nesbitt’s lush vocals into the limelight as she contemplates on an entanglement had with an ‘older guy’, and the dangers of over-romanticising situations. Nesbitt croons “I didn’t mind being a punchline at 16 / I liked that you were older / but at the time I didn’t understand / it’s because you held the power / I thought that love was meant to be like that,” as she reflects on naivety on a track in the same sonic vein as Billie Eilish’s “Your Power.” Surrounded by the emotive nature of “I Should Be A Bird,” the sentimentality of “Heirloom,” and soulful melancholy of “Colours Of You” only further emphasis the bold nature of “Older Guys,” as Nesbitt bravely wears her heart on her sleeve in a courageous act of vulnerability.

With Älskar, Nina Nesbitt has profoundly demonstrated her knack at penning emotive, and sonically layered numbers that range from classic-pop to piano-ballad cuts.

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