NILÜFER YANYA DEBUT ALBUM ‘MISS UNIVERSE’ – OUT TODAY ON ATO RECORDS
March 22, 2019
“The rapturous debut from the British singer-songwriter takes adventurous pop-rock crucibles to new heights with her illusory songwriting and stunning voice.” – Pitchfork 8.3 (Best New Music)
“Her voice is the center of the galaxy” – Wall Street Journal
“You’ll listen as if your life depended on it” – Q ****
“A distinctive new voice in indie rock, a deeply expressive singer and sharply inventive guitarist” – Uncut ****
“On a musical and human level, then, the world needs more people like Nilüfer Yanya” – Mojo ****
“A true original” – The Guardian (Album of the Week) ****
“On her debut album Yanya has pulled one more trick from her sleeve: crafting an entire world unto herself” – NPR (First Listen)
“Yanya oozes starpower” – MTV
Listen to Miss Universe HERE
The ambitious and compelling debut album from Nilüfer Yanya, Miss Universe, arrives today on ATO Records. Already the album has seen early acclaim from a vast number of publications including an NPR First Listen, Pitchfork’s coveted Best New Music accolade, rave reviews from The Guardian – who made it their Album of the Week – The Independent, MOJO, Q, Uncut, Wall Street Journal, Stereogum (Album of the Week), The Line of Best Fit (Album of the Week), CLASH, DIY, Loud & Quiet, The Skinny, All Music, Exclaim!, Dork, MTV News, Vinyl Me Please, and more.
Upon release in January, the album’s first single “In Your Head” was proclaimed one of NPR’s “20 Best Songs We Heard for January”, a Sunday Times Culture ‘Hottest Track’, one of The Guardian’s ‘50 Great Tracks For February’ and landed in The FADER’s ‘20 best rock songs right now’ playlist – setting the tone for what’s still to come with the release of Miss Universe. Second single “Tears” was featured on Beats 1 Radio’s Zane Lowe as a World First, flaunting the album’s poppier side and launching the song into regular radio rotation in the UK. Largely recorded in the same remote Penzance studio she used to jam in with her uncle Joe – a former musician himself – Miss Universe features co-productions with both her former school guitar teacher The Invisible’s Dave Okumu and her live bandmates Jazzi Bobbi and Luke Bower, as well as producers John Congleton, Oli Barton-Wood, Will Archer and M.T. Hadley.
2019 started in whirlwind fashion with Nilufer touring throughout January and February with Sharon Van Etten across the USA. At the end of March Nilüfer embarks on her longest U.K., Europe and Turkey headline tour to date. Beginning with a show in Nilüfer’s father’s ancestral home Istanbul on 28 March, she then takes in most major U.K. cities, including her biggest London show so far on 9 April at Evolutionary Arts Hackney, before European dates everywhere from France and the Netherlands to Austria and Germany – culminating on 1 May at ACU in Utrecht. Fellow London songwriter and guitarist Westerman will support Nilüfer on all of the U.K. dates and tickets for the entire tour are available from HERE. Following that, she will head back to the U.S. for her first U.S. headlining tour, including a stop at NYC’s Rough Trade on 23 July. Tickets for that show are currently on-sale HERE, all other shows will be on-sale on 29 March.
Though she’d been writing songs in her head since she was six, and on the guitar since she was 12, it took a long time for Nilüfer Yanya to work up the courage to show anyone her music. “I knew I wanted to sing, but the idea of actually having to do it was really horrifying,” says the 24-year-old. When she was finally persuaded to do so, by a music teacher in West London where she grew up, she says “it was horrible. I loved it”.
At 18, Nilüfer – who is of Turkish-Irish-Bajan heritage – uploaded a few demos to SoundCloud. Though she’s preternaturally shy, her music – which uniquely blends elements of soul and jazz into intimate pop songs with electronic flourishes and a newly expressed grungy guitar sound – isn’t. And it didn’t take long for it to catch people’s attention. She signed with independent New York label ATO, following three EPs on esteemed london indie label Blue Flowers, and earned a place on the BBC Sound of 2018 longlist. She also supported the likes of The xx, Interpol, Broken Social Scene and Mitski on tour.
Now, Nilüfer is ready to release her debut album, Miss Universe. Though she recorded much of it in the same remote Cornwall studio she used to jam in as a much younger person, it is bigger and more ambitious than anything she has done before. ‘Angels’, with its muted, harmonic riffs, channels ideas “of paranoid thoughts and anxiety” – a theme that runs through the album, not least in its conceptual spoken word interludes which emanate from a fictional health management company WE WORRY ABOUT YOUR HEALTH™. “You sign up, and you pay a fee,” explains Nilüfer of the automated messages, which are littered through the album and are narrated by the titular Miss Universe. “They sort out all of your dietary requirements, and then they move onto medication, and then maybe you can get a better organ or something… and then suddenly it starts to get a bit weird. You’re giving them more of you and to what end?”
See Nilüfer Yanya on tour in 2019:
|March 28 – Istanbul, Turkey @ BabylonApril 3 – Glasgow, Scotland @ CCAApril 4 – Manchester, UK @ YESApril 5 – Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Social ClubApril 6 – Newcastle, UK @ The ClunyApril 8 – Leicester, UK @ O2 Academy Leicester UniversityApril 9 – London, UK @ Evolutionary Arts HackneyApril 11 – Birmingham, UK @ Hare & HoundsApril 12 – Bristol, UK @ TheklaApril 13 – Oxford, UK @ O2 Academy OxfordApril 14 – Brighton, UK @ The HauntApril 16 – Amsterdam, Netherlands @ BitterzoetApril 17 – Hamburg, GER @ NochtwacheApril 18 – Berlin, GER @ Kantine am BerghainApril 19 – Rotterdam, Netherlands @ Motel MozaiqueApril 21 – Vienna, Austria @ Chelsea ClubApril 22 – Munich, GER @ AmpereApril 24 – Zurich, Switzerland @ ExilApril 25 – Koln, GER @ Blue ShellApril 26 – Paris, FRA @ Le Point EphemereApril 29 – Brussels, BEL @ Les Nuits Botanique Festival April 30 – Nijmegen, Netherlands @ MerleynMay 1 – Utrecht, Holland @ ACUJune 1 – Barcelona, Spain @ Primavera SoundJuly 19-21 – Melt! Festival, GermanyJuly 23 – New York, NY @ Rough TradeJuly 24 – Washington, DC @ U Street Music HallJuly 30 – Cleveland, OH @ Grog ShopJuly 31 – Chicago, IL @ Sleeping VillageAugust 1 – Columbus, OH @ Ace of CupsAugust 2 – Detroit, MI @ Deluxx FluxxAugust 3 – Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe TavernAugust 8-12 – Belle & Sebastian Boaty WeekenderAugust 15-18 – Green Man Festival, Brecon Beacons, Wales|
1. WWAY HEALTH ™
2. In Your Head
7. Baby Blu
9. Heat Rises
11. “Sparkle” GOD HELP ME
12. Safety Net
14. Monsters Under The Bed
15. The Unordained
16. Give Up Function
17. Heavyweight Champion of the Year