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“Closer Than Close” by Nya

Nya’s music career didn’t start simple; from the time she entered the spotlight to the present, she’s been pressing her creative envelope as much as she can, usually with a virtuosic vocal that has thus far brought her a lot of love from critics and fans the same (counting myself in both groups, of course). Her new single “Closer Than Close” leans on a cerebral R&B element that at first feels a little lofty for the minimalist arrangement, but as we continue in this song we find that this just might be the most relaxing – and inspired – work this singer/songwriter has shared to date.

The vocal delivery in this track requires a lot more dexterity than what the status quo in pop does, but Nya has the right pipes for the challenge. She leans into the chorus rather than waiting for the buoyancy of this hook to set the tone for her, and while there’s something to be said about the percussive energy the drums are letting off on the backend, she’s always got the lion’s share of the attention transfixed on her voice and the harmonies it’s forming with the simplistic melodic fabric situated beside her.

I really like the way our singer snaps into the chorus so seamlessly here, and I think it demonstrates just how much she believes in the narrative she’s creating. She could have been much more clandestine with the hook than she is in “Closer Than Close,” much as she was in her last couple of studio cuts, but there’s a draw towards her momentum at the mic that is even more potent when she’s getting after a big chorus like the one we’ve got here. Her mood is everything to this song, and it’s rightly taking center stage across every beat.

This rhythm has a rather jazzy feel to it, and compared to the hint of avant-pop influence we’ve collectively heard in Nya’s music thus far, this is much more brazen and exploitive of her natural talents. You don’t need a bombastic arrangement to make the tone of this piece sound absolutely intimate and spellbinding, and I actually think this artist can accelerate the emotional presence of her words thanks to the minimal amount of hurdles she’s having to deal with as the leader of this ever-moving piece of music.

As I anticipated as far back as a couple of years ago, Nya is expanding on the artistic merits she exhibited early on in her career with “Closer Than Close” and inviting us along for the ride. The R&B aesthetic in this single’s sound is something that should have been given a bit more of the spotlight previously, but in any case, it’s got a mature enough platform in this track to not only be convincing but outright inspirational. Nya has a voice that can melt steel at the right volume, and in “Closer Than Close” we’ve got a pop single that needs to be turned up as loud as you can get it this summer.

Mindy McCall

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