Nia Archives - Silence Is Loud - New Blue LP

Nia Archives - Silence Is Loud - New Blue LP

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Format: New Coloured LP Label: Island Cat. No.6501652 Barcode: 60246501652

Released: 12/04/2024

Nia Archives is the star at the forefront of the latest era of jungle. Since her emergence in 2020, her collagist soundscapes have helped bring the sound to a new generation of clubgoers (though fair warning: don’t call her a “revivalist” – she’s the first to point out that the scene never went away). So when it comes to talk of the 24-year-old producer, DJ, singer and songwriter’s much-anticipated debut album, the odds are you’re thinking of a full-length record of weightless jungle tracks with basslines so intense they’ll leave your ears ringing.

But the reality of the Bradford-born, Leeds-raised artist’s first ever album – while very much replete with that exquisite jungle sound she does so well – is also doing something a little different. On the thrilling and freeing Silence Is Loud, Nia Archives is looking to make music for beyond the rave. The album mixes gloomy Britpop, warm Motown, soaring indie, a love for Kings of Leon’s Aha Shake Heartbreak, skittering IDM, Madchester, classic rock, old skool hardcore and more, woven and fused into her ragga and junglist tapestry, all layered with feeling, imbued with her songwriterly lyricism about loneliness, relationships, family, navigating her 20s, and the intense potential power of silence.

Building on the terrain from her third EP, Sunrise Bang Ur Head Against Tha Wall, the universe of Silence Is Loud is not totally unfamiliar territory; but it’s still emblematic of a bolder scope than we’ve heard from the artist before. Working with Ethan P. Flynn (the songwriter and producer known for his work with FKA twigs and David Byrne), the resulting record is an impressive feat of deftly-sculpted textures; sometimes big and euphoric, like the wobbly, lusty bass of ‘Forbidden Feelingz’, or elsewhere notably gentle and quiet – see: the gorgeous, surprisingly drumless ‘Silence Is Loud (Reprise)’, a heartfelt number that sits somewhere in the school of Adele.

Silence Is Loud maintains an exuberant immediacy while still being sleek and spacious, interspersed with flourishes of metallic beats, lush melody and topped with her sugary but powerful vocal, floating over it all. There is an intimacy to the record, perhaps in part due to Nia writing most of her lyrics while sitting in bed in her flat in Bow (once a bedroom producer, always a bedroom producer).

Silence Is Loud often finds itself in that push and pull between melancholy and euphoria.