Nimmo – ‘The Power’ album review

Score

By taking the wrong path, the London duo discovered the record that they really wanted to create.

Talk of Nimmo’s debut album has been kicking around for years now. As early as 2015, the London duo – who signed a shiny deal with Sony straight out of university – were readying themselves for an imminent release. But over time, they began to find the slow pace of major label decision-making increasingly difficult to deal with. They eventually left Sony, albeit with no hard feelings, and were able to take their music with them. Going forward the pair, childhood friends Sarah Nimmo and Reva Gauntlett, adopted a new approach, realising that the limitations imposed by being an independent act helped them far more than a whopping major label budget. In fact, the whole experience proved crucial; by taking the wrong path, Nimmo discovered the record that they really wanted to make all along.

The result is ‘The Power’. It’s a debut that sees raw-edged soul nestling up alongside crisp and skittering garage-style beats; crafted in their Dalston studio, recording sessions often bled into hedonistic nights out at nearby drag club The Glory. Drawing on the escapist highs, as well the foetal-position hangovers of the following day, Nimmo have an innate talent for bottling the escapism offered by a club filled with thrashing bodies, but also capturing the underlying darkness of what dancing lets us forget about, all in the same breath. ‘UnYoung’ might sound like a pinged-up house banger, but peel back the snappy, percussive veneer, and it’s a super-vulnerable song about fearing your parents dying. “I wanna see your face,” it pleads urgently, grasping onto the moment. “I don’t wanna feel you in the air”

The opening of the record – a cavernous skit that rises out of eerily humming strings – finds the childhood friends freed from their record deal, and making ends meet in a regular job. My back’s in pain, I’m paid in vain, like 8.50 an hour,” Nimmo recite. “Standing at the counter, giving straight girls my advice on life, I’m reminded of the power.” As the record unfurls, smoky pop jams rise from a buzzing, bassy undercurrent. Capturing the anxieties of making rent every month, the anonymity of trudging past the masses every day before work, and the quiet personal connections and queer spaces which root you in a city bustling with millions, ‘The Power’ breathes with the energy of filthy, beautiful, sprawling London.

Details

Release Date:: June 21
Release Label:: Self-released