The main idea behind Sounds Good is to write about good music from good people that make people feel good but sometimes it’s alright to feel sad for a little while. Bruised is the debut album from New York’s Nica, and it is the culmination of years and years of the singer-songwriter becoming the best version of herself. What strikes me is that this is Nica’s debut album, talk about a bold way to introduce yourself.
Okay straight up, ‘Dangerous Fools’ is possibly the best performance of anything I’ve ever heard before. Kicking off the record, a wondrous piano progression plays against some hugely dramatic drums and slightly subdued, distorted guitars to create something that could become a modern day ‘November Rain’ in terms of impact. The crowning jewel is Nica’s vocals though, as she does an incredible job of leading the way with a vocal performance that’s powerful beyond belief. It gives a superb indication of how the rest of the record is gonna go down, and also shows how easy it is to be grabbed by it.
Nica also allows each song to have their own identity, which means that despite the material coming from the same formula, they’re easily able to stand out on their own. ‘Female Dogs’ features all of the heavy piano chords and fiery vocals you would expect, while ‘Phase’ blooms into a big of a power-rock ballad and ‘Easier Sung’ seems to cap it off with a glorious descend into lush instrumentation. It’s a testament to Nica to have this level of creativity flood the airwaves, and even more impressive by the fact that it’s her debut album.
Bruised is a glorious album. Nica easily becomes one of my favourite discoveries of the year, as this record is simply phenomenal. The level of songwriting, creativity, variety is ridiculous and paired with the production quality tips it over the edge as one of the most powerful records I’ve heard in 2018. It’s brilliant.