On first listen, Nilüfer Yanya’s new album, PAINLESS, might sound like a departure from the more upbeat and sonically varied collection of songs on 2019’s Miss Universe, but a closer listen finds the new music diving headfirst into some of the darker sounds and emotions that bubbled to the surface on the previous record. In fact, it’s that unflinching approach to self-reflection that makes Yanya’s new music so arresting. It forces you to witness her personal struggles and lays bare the wounds caused by self-doubt and denial. These uncomfortable self-portraits are made more poignant by the moodier, more constrained sonic palette Yanya brought to the new record.
During her recent visit to Austin and Studio 1A, Nilüfer Yanya performed a few songs from the new album that showed just how powerful this combination of unyielding introspection and masterful songwriting can be. Tracks like “midnight sun” build on beautifully discordant guitar arpeggios reminiscent of Radiohead while Yanya’s straightforward delivery dares the listener to look closer – at her, at themselves, and at others around them. It’s a deeply humanizing experience that only the best art can create.
Watch her full performance in front of our studio audience and follow along to learn more about Nilüfer Yanya and her new album, PAINLESS, out now on ATO Records.
Musicians: Nilufer Yanya, Guitar, Vox; Jazzi Bobbi, Sax, Synth, Vox; Ellis Dupuy, Drums; Beth O’Lenahan, Bass
Producer: Deidre Gott; Host: Laurie Gallardo; Audio: Jake Perlman, Rene Chavez; Cameras: Patricia Lim, Renee Dominguez, Gabriel C. Pérez; Audio Mix: Jake Perlman, Edit: Renee Dominguez