Susurrus. “The sound of the wind moving in the trees”. Niomí came across the term and this definition while listening to the radio someday, and is now making it her own, choosing it as the title of her stunning debut EP that just dropped on June 28. And it couldn’t be more fitting. “I thought it was so beautiful to have a word for such a subtle and tiny thing and I related to that concept. Susurrus is about finding my sound. My voice is quiet and soft, as are parts of my personality. I can struggle with that and often feel I need to be bigger, louder or brighter. The word reminded me that there’s beauty in the small, quiet things”, she explains.
In this 3-track project that she wrote and produced, Niomí expanded on the “susurrus” concept by concealing sounds from her environment into her songs. “If you listen carefully, you can hear shower fans, the rain falling and doors creaking in the background of the music”, the British artist reveals. Previously performing as half of the experimental r&b duo Tidelines, Niomí is now moving solo, using her background as a pianist to transform her instrument electronically, creating a sound world as nostalgic as her bruised love songs. The results reminds me a lot of Jessie Ware‘s debut (and you guys know how much I adore her!). I admire how Niomí’s EP feels as meticulously crafted as freeing and organic. She excels at encapsulating in the simplest, most beautiful phrases, the essence of the most complex feelings such as depression, loss and heartbreak.
My favorite track is undeniably Snow, which also turns out to be her new single, getting the royal treatment with a spellbinding music video directed by Jess Anderson. Right at the border of alt r&b and alt pop, it describes her yearning desire to turn over a new leaf after a breakup. “I’m scared of the dark and when I sleep alone, I usually keep a light on, the songstress with Irish & Pakistani roots adds. After a brutal break up of a relationship of 7 years I remember finally feeling like I was moving on when I could sleep with the lights off. When I started writing Snow, that first lyric set the tone for the rest of the song; ‘I think I’m getting over you, I’m sleeping with the lights out’. It’s about that point after a relationship ends where you start to feel ok again. I love the image of freshly fallen snow and how pure and clean it is. That’s how I felt coming out the other side of that relationship.”