Nikki Hayes reshapes the modern RnB landscape in a stunning way with this latest single. Something about her voice, its delicacy and emotional presence, mixed in among this beautifully organic and spacious soundscape, and presented by means of a song that intrigues and captivates at every step – all of this just works, and gorgeously.
Her approach to music seems so natural and subsequently refreshing, not trying too hard to be anything other than expressive of what this particular moment means to her. There’s soul in the performance, though it’s gentle – subtle and authentic. The song has a blissful aura to it, so when it comes to an end – you miss that mild glow, those whispered layers of colour and creativity.
From the offset there’s a fairly nostalgic aura to the soundscape side of things. The acoustic guitar and the simple click of the beat has a nineties TLC kind of vibe. Much more than this though, the very moment Hayes starts to sing, it’s close to impossible not to quiet down completely and listen. The softness portrayed suggests a genuine connection to the words and the melody that are coming through. And it’s a beautiful melody, shorter introductory lines followed by longer-form moments pave the way for a totally expressive and entrancing few minutes.
Mixed in among all of this are certain vocal flickers, acting almost like distant synths or lights that brighten and warm up the outer edges of the ambiance. These are not routinely incorporated, but rather – intentionally placed, so as to lay emphasis on certain emotional heights within the leading performance. It’s a stunning bit of production that encapsulates and lets shine the core strengths of the song and of Nikki Hayes’ sound and depth as an artist. There hasn’t been an RnB or soul singer with something quite so unique and genuine for a while now. Of course you never know what that unique trait will be until you hear it, but this is it; without a doubt.