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EP Review: Nussy, ‘Nussy’

Words by Scenewave Australia - Published on July 13, 2014

In a cloud of shimmering electro-pop, Melbourne-based Nussy, aka Dani Smarrelli, shows huge potential with her eponymous debut EP. The vibrant tracks certainly impress, despite demonstrating there is a little way to go before the quirky songstress becomes a mainstay on the Australian pop scene.

With a quick glance of Nussy’s debut video clip, it would be easy to confuse her with one of the already established pop heavyweights of today. She already seems equipped with the weapons for the (not so) metaphorical battle of trying to reach the realms of stardom. Striking, fashion savvy look. Check. Memorable, quirky name. Check. But while her stylish, professional image is fitting for a new heiress to the pop throne, she is yet to craft a sound that will punch through the increasingly crowded pop scene.

In this musical age, it seems getting noticed happens one of two ways. You either by shocking an audience into noticing you (a la Miley Cyrus,) or you come up with something musically strong enough to endear you to fans who look past the tabloid-worthiness. Infiltrating minds with an infectious hook is a good start, something that Nussy’s contemporary Sia has again proved with her latest chart topper, Chandelier.  Nussy is not at that level (yet,) but judging by her debut, it is only a matter of time.

There is much to love about the EP, starting with the disarming Intro which leads into the three tracks. My first thought when listening to those first few seconds was that it emulated someone was breathing heavily through an oxygen mask. Haunting. This quickly dissipates into a stream of subtle electronic pulses that seem more at home at the climax of ‘Inception’ or some other sci-fi film – and it works. By the time the first track begins, the listener has been transported into another world. Fitting, considering Nussy’s ethereal qualities.

Nussy’s first single Dizzy is predictably the strongest of the lot. The electronic synth backing could seem dry, if not for the transitions and variation, all whisked together with light drumming. The song shines the brightest leading up to the chorus, when the synth eases, the drumming comes to the fore, and her deliciously delicate vocals demonstrate her potential. The chorus is solid if not inspirational, and shows the logical next step – creating a more radio-friendly hook to push her into the spotlight.

Prowling is a curious track built around a fast paced electronic beat; it’s a high intensity song that really showing off Nussy’s impressive range. Together with some cleverly used synth, it’s a track that will undoubtedly fill dance floors in packed clubs throughout the city. Yet Nussy also has finesse. Her last track, The Other Side, is probably the best crafted on the EP. Swooning with delicate guitar strumming, it is music’s equivalent of catching your breath after the previous tracks. Even when the beat quickens, and the synth is injected, it never feels forced.

Nussy’s EP cover says much about the album and the music itself. Embodying minimalism, she is dressed in all white – going so far as to include white lips, hair and possibly even contacts. While elegant, a dash of colour in her EP could help catapult Nussy from the depths of Triple J Unearthed into the Australian spotlight. And it won’t take much. The album is cleanly produced and designed, clever and professional. All that’s needed is that secret ingredient; is a slap of inspiration to craft a totally infectious tune. She certainly seems ready for it.

Catch Nussy live here:

Thurs 31 July,  The Workers Club, Melbourne
Buy tickets here
Friday 1 Aug, Pirie And Co Social Club, Adelaide
Buy tickets here

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