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Album Review: 'Sounds From a Distance' By Nur

Nur’s debut EP, Sounds From a Distance, is like the melancholic soundtrack to a movie never made.

Haunting pianos. Dark, evolving textures. Expansive soundscapes, and sublime vocals. The debut EP from producer and experimental sound artist Nur, Sounds From a Distance, listens more like the work of an experienced producer, comfortably confident in her own sonic exploration.

Similarly to all great movies, one cannot jump directly to the climax, and Nur isn’t afraid to take her time. The leisurely, piano-driven opening track, Breathe, slowly builds over the course of its six minutes into a crescendo of synthetic textures overlaid with whirrs of mechanical-sounding percussion.

Nur’s unique, self described genre, 'electroacoustic pop', is perplexingly deceiving; the only thing explicitly 'pop' about the project is the subject matter that Nur traverses over the course of the EP’s six tracks. Romance, heartbreak, loneliness, and longing all interweave themselves within her spacious lamentations and grand ambient soundscapes. Listeners will notice a subtle, overarching love story taking place in Sounds From a Distance, one that reaches a fitting climax on the dusky, sexually-charged SK/N.

One of the darker cuts on EP, Lay Me Down, features rattling bass synthesizers, a somber church organ, and equally emotive vocals. "You don’t know who I am, bringing me down,” sings Nur - in a defiant cry against haters - as the track descends into positively subterranean levels of darkness. Cacophonous samples flow in and out of audibility over a deep, rumbling 808 kick drum.

In Sounds From a Distance, moments of blissful euphoria, aching desire, and forlorn seclusion mix together over a backdrop of vast, sprawling production. And while the echoing closing track, Without You, feels almost like a hollow goodbye in comparison to the rest of the EP, Nur’s debut is an exciting emotional journey into her innermost feelings, straying into realms of personal expression few artists are brave enough to enter.

Be sure to check out Nur on soundcloud.