There’s some music that can really only be appreciated when you’re lying in a dark room, lit by candlelight and feeling your feelings. Ponette’s debut album ‘Nude’ is this kind of music.
This is an album about vulnerability and heartbreak and man, does it really hit you hard.
This is the kind of album that really brings up a lot of emotion because not only do the lyrics of every song hit you right in the heartstrings, the production is also so delicate and refined, that you need to give it your full attention. Every single note requires you to listen and fully drink it in because it’s so majestic.
The melodies of each track feel cinematic. Strings dance closely with gentle atmospherics and draw out the emotions in the lyrics of each track. ‘ice cream’, ’fine’ and ‘Losing Me’ paint a picture of emotional upheaval by using soft vocals, gentle atmospherics, sharp strings and soft percussion. An ethereal sound is carried through these songs with analog samples, vibrant atmospherics, gentle hums and muted percussion hold up the vocals.
These gentler tracks are scattered in between the harder tracks that have a lot fo grit and industrial elements to them. ’Stuck’ starts off in quieter territory before bursting with hard synths and a beat that crashes into deep hums. The more aggressive ingredients give the track texture and make it kind of haunting.
‘Meltdown’ is quit similar in this way, but instead of using synths that burst like a plate falling onto concrete, this track highlights dance elements to create a sense of disorientation. Wobbling synths bounce over warped samples and emphasise the image of being on a dark dance floor. It’s the most dance-inspired track on the album, which is fitting as Ponette sings about being in the club.
On ‘wtf’, pulsing atmospherics break out into a warm buzz of sound whilst industrial samples slash through the base melody. This is a track with bite and it just brings the narrative of the album to an aggressive crescendo.
We end on ‘Breathe’, a song that seems to have hope woven into the production. Warped synths pulsate at the beginning of the track and welcome in warm atmospherics and twinkling chimes. This is the brighter end to the tumultuous tale Ponette has told throughout ‘Nude’ and it’s beautiful.
‘Nude’, as a whole, is an album that tells a dark story with ethereal production making it feel like you can see the story playing out in front of you like a film. The anger, sadness and confusion all feel so real and accessible, with Ponette’s gentle voice creating a character who just craves relief from her emotions. ‘Nude’ is a mind-blowing album and places Ponette in the circle of musicians who are able to truly create a whole new world with their enchanting stories and magical melodies.