Florida-born pop singer/songwriter Nya is making news this summer with her best ballad yet in “Love You to Death,” a slinky, smoking thunder storm of tonality that is just as much a demonstration of its star’s vocal dexterity as it is an intimately-crafted commentary on love, lust and the life that we try to live in between wrestling with the two. There’s not a bulging bass groove in this single, nor will you find any electrifying guitar solos, references to designer labels or unimaginative guest appearances. Nya is stripping down her sound and getting back to basics in this track, and as a result, making some of her most expressive music ever.
The buildup to the chorus is almost as exciting as the hook that comes barreling out of the darkness when we finally arrive there, and I like that Nya does everything she can to extend this fever pitch, and perhaps more noticeably, maximize the chill factor created by the bassline. It’s a progressive formula, but in the last two years, this artist has done everything required to prove herself capable of utilizing any song structure that suits her specific needs. She’s got a voice to sing anything she pleases, and in this case, she’s selected luminous, surreal pop as her style of choice.
There’s a lot of detail within every element of this track, as there is in the music video, and I think that you can definitely tell Nya has a personal investment in the substance of the narrative here. Everything has been carefully polished, with no one instrument standing out as the linchpin of the lush melodic arrangement. Nya’s voice is riddled with raw emotion, and her verses seem to flow right into the harmonizing synths behind them in the chorus. Every piece of the puzzle is falling into place for her in this song, and we’re further able to see just how limitless her potential as a vocalist really is.
I picked up some understated R&B tones in the opening stanza, as well as at the finish of this single, and they’re only emphasized by the tight, up close and personal-feel of the master mix. There’s more than one occasion in “Love You to Death” where Nya’s voice sounds so tangible and rife with physicality that the track feels more like a live recording than it does a varnished cut from the studio. If she’s anything like she is in this single during an actual show, then I wouldn’t want to be standing on the outside of the club when she takes the stage.
With so much good music out right now, it can be hard – even for the biggest music fans among us – to keep up with all of the thrills that the summer recording season has been producing, but rest assured that, at least in the alternative pop genre, you won’t find another artist quite like Nya, nor another song out of the underground that is as moving and affective as “Love You to Death” is. Whether you’ve been following her since day one or are just now getting a look at her work through the melancholic music video for this track, Nya’s most recent release is a solid acquisition, through and through.
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