Nina Nesbitt. Newcastle Academy. 23.5.18

Recent releases by Nina Nesbitt, including ‘Somebody special’ and self-produced ‘The moments I’m missing’ have been carefully planned, but well executed, moves to slowly move out of the caricature which record labels and mainstream media outlets seemed to place her after her ‘Peroxide’ debut.  A difficult tight rope to walk, Nesbitt has begun to transcend the imposed image whilst moving into a new creative space entirely on her own terms.

Tonight’s show at the Academy, the final show of this tour and a one almost sold-out, is an extension of Nesbitt’s attempts to redefine herself creatively.  Set against an interesting electronic, minimalistic, background, the show’s mood is reflective and introspective, making it feel, in parts as close to Tracey Thorn’s work in Massive Attack as it does to more pop, but equally as interesting, sounding pieces from electronic acts like Foxes.

Second track ‘The moments I’m missing’, all dark electro and low-lit backdrop, with lyrics about the moments of regret and missed opportunities which come with pursing an ambition is the evenings standout track.  Focused on opposing complexities of anxiety and self-belief the tracks strength is it’s ability to describe the impact stress has on mental health, as well as the occasional enjoyment we have in the comfort of feeling lost.

‘Empire’ and ‘Chewing gum’ dig further into Nesbitt’s music and narrative experimentation, with Empire proving an XX feel with dreamy synths and gum showcasing fine vocal range and precision.

Personal and open throughout the show, Nesbitt encourages the audience to find connection with the songs and their meaning, often commenting that it’s okay not to have to pretend.

Brave, and interesting, this is the sound of an artist taking their audience with them as they experiment with expectations and musical textures.  If only more artists took these sorts of risks.

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