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Nilüfer Yanya's new album 'Miss Universe' wondrously explores themes of love, relationships and depression

Yanya is one of the UK's most talented songwriters right now.

The UK is a hotbed of talented female singer-songwriters right now and none exude more promise than Nilüfer Yanya. The Londoner has been dropping top-shelf music for the past few years and her much-anticipated full-length debut, Miss Universe, delivers on all fronts.

Deeply rooted in themes of love, depression, relationships and the difficulties of modern life, the songs on Miss Universe are interestingly structured around a number of skits promoting the fictional health system WWAY HEALTH. While this agency is presented as the solution to all our worldly problems, the further through the album you get the more you realise there’s something sinister about the service. Yanya uses her lyrics to suggest we should turn to those we love and trust when facing life’s harsh realities rather than look to institutions.

Eschewing the R&B platform of her earlier work, Miss Universe finds Yanya genre-hopping on an album defined by her remarkable vocals and relatable lyrics. ‘In Your Head’ is a driving indie-rock number, ‘Tears’ an ‘80s synth-pop bubble of joy, ‘Paradise’ a saxophone-featuring pop triumph and ‘Baby Blu’ a soulful synth composition. 

Miss Universe is an inspiring and engaging listen exhibiting Yanya’s comprehensive songwriting palate and mercurial vocals and is sure to feature on many end of year lists. 

8.0

By Tobias Handke