Indonesian singer-songwriter and producer NIKI has been an act to watch with her soulful 90s R&B-influenced anthems to starry-eyed synth-pop. After signing with 88rising in 2017, she released two EPs and is now debuting a full-length album. The songstress has stated the project has been two years in the making. We are now witnessing the creation of her new persona, Moonchild.
With a total of 10 tracks, Moonchild is split into three sections, each representing the different phases of the moon.
The forward “Wide Open” is a window into the titular character’s world and packs a punch immediately with NIKI’s classically witty and cheeky lyrics.
“So girl, don’t you give in // To all of the voices around you saying you can spread your wings // Only if you spread those legs first // That’s the bread and butter of this place,” she quips.
She then transitions into the dreamy pop track, “Switchblade.” The main character continues to reveal more about her identity and paints an ethereal picture while doing so: “Electric rivers flow by the silhouette trees // We skinny dip and soak in all of our past dreams.”
The eclectic “Nightcrawlers,” unveils another layer of edgier takes.
“Hate to burst your bubble, but you really don’t know me // Everybody falls down ringin”round the rosie // Once I owned myself now everybody wanna own me,” she raps. Yes, that’s right — she raps, adding to her endless list of talents.
The metaphorical journey continues with “Selene.” This groovy R&B track will have you romanticizing just about anything.
The second phase then begins with the multi-dimensional “Tide.” The dark and distorted production becomes a dreamy soundscape as you can hear hushed conversations and voices. She is seemingly able to weave two disparate thoughts together into one.
Things slows things down with the soothing “Pandemonium.”
The phase finishes with the stripped-down piano ballad, “Lose.” Her mesmerizing vocals aren’t lost on this straightforward tearjerker.
“We fight all day, kiss all night // But I don’t wanna break your heart // You keep yours, I’ll keep mine,” she ruminates.
The third and final phase wraps up with the gleeful “Plot Twist.” This one has vibes of an indie-pop Taylor Swift track.
“If There’s Nothing Left…” is a powerful sentiment when it comes to powering through dark times.
Things conclude with “Drive On,” and it’s the ideal last chapter. Despite all the setbacks, the children of the moon have to grow and move on.
NIKI’s concept album is authentic to herself and her journey as an artist. We also recommend watching her celestial-themed music videos to these tracks as well to experience more of the world she’s created.
Featured Image: Instagram (@nikizefanya)