Noella Usborne brings together an alternative songwriting approach with an impressively crisp and colourful soundscape on this latest release Unrequited.
The first thing to grab you is her leading voice, the musicality is fairly minimalist and notably spacious to begin with – so the voice stands out, and it offers personality and a quickly likable, emotional tone. In addition, Usborne switches up the flow on this track more than a few times – the vocal works hard to keep you interested and involved. As the varying levels of passion emerge lyrically, the singer reinforces this by evolving through these differing stages of quickness, rhythm, and melody. When all is said and done, you know quite precisely what the track was about, and you’ll most likely walk away with that beautiful beat and that hook running through your mind.
Production-wise this release is superb, there’s a contemporary familiarity to the quiet followed by the drop, those synths and that summer-time energy have a comforting glow about them. In terms of the actual building blocks though, Usborne has subtly invited a fair few different genres and styles into the mix, so while certain moments feel trip-hop inspired, others feel more rooted in EDM and even occasionally dance-hall. That exotic bounce when the full warmth of the music drops in works really well in building further on existing contrasts and giving the track an addictive burst of energy.
From a songwriting perspective, Unrequited sees Noella Usborne get unapologetically personal and honest in her outpouring – even the tone of voice backs up this realness. The turmoil there yet again contrasts cleverly with the brightness of the music, so while you can lose yourself in the clean finish of the ambiance – you can also feel as if you’re building a connection or a mild understanding of the artist; which will make all the difference in the long run.