Nilüfer Yanya’s “Small Crimes”, released today, is is an affecting, haunting song that has wormed its way under my skin since I first heard it last week.
You can’t always articulate WHY a song gets under your skin, but being an effusive writer, I’ll try: Is it Yanya’s opening riff, a lonely and barely-effected electric guitar hook? Is it the dichotomy – a favorite of mine – between the youthful voice (“I’m not rlly a singer” says her Twitter account, but rlly, yes she definitely is) and the old soul exposed in the lyrics?
“And if I gave it up would I still be a thug? / You don’t choose to play the bad guy / It’s in your bloodline / And I left my heart at the scrap metal yard / You don’t get to be human when you’re a hooligan”
Is it the minimalist arrangement, a relief in this age of overproduction? Or maybe that final swelling bridge just before the closing verse, that gives you an adrenaline rush – just a small one? Am I just a junkie for that bridge?
” Yeah the paper’s nice / but it’s the rush I like / You don’t care about the money / When you’re an adrenaline junkie”
Whatever the reason, the effect is undeniable: this song is definitely a strange loop. It’s also the London-based artist’s first single – an exciting debut. Let us know what you think and follow her here.
Press photo by Hollie Fernando