Nilüfer Yanya – Miss Universe

Despite its 17-song length, it's hard to imagine Nilüfer Yanya's vision without each one of these tracks; Miss Universe hangs together effortlessly and each part feels as vital as the last

Album Review by Eugenie Johnson | 20 Mar 2019
  • Nilüfer Yanya – Miss Universe
Album title: Miss Universe
Artist: Nilüfer Yanya
Label: ATO Records / PIAS
Release date: 22 Mar

'What will you experience when you experience paradise?' It’s a question posed by Nilüfer Yanya in one of a smattering of spoken word interludes on her debut album Miss Universe. Here, she enacts an automated message from WWayHealth, a fictional health management company that comes to symbolise a sense of inherent, subconscious control in society. These conceptual moments are also a demonstration of Yanya’s sheer ambition on Miss Universe, something that is only cemented further across its entire breadth.

There’s not a single track here that featured on her previous, acclaimed EPs. Instead, spread between the WwayHealth segments, she pushes herself into a diverse range of musical territories. This is an album where the grungy guitar riffs of explosive single In Your Head can occupy the same space as a more synth-led track such as Safety Net or Tears, which combines indie elements and electro-pop with effortless ease. On Melt, the hook is shrouded in bursts of dusky brass that help illuminate Yanya’s more piercing lyrics ('I bet your brain cells won’t last').

Although refusing to be pigeonholed, the album hangs together effortlessly and each part feels as vital as the last; despite its 17-song length, it’s hard to imagine Yanya’s vision without each one of these tracks. What might you experience when you experience paradise? Perhaps it's something similar to Miss Universe.

Listen to: Baby Blu, Safety Net