“The Sun Will Come Up, The Seasons Will Change” is a long album title, and a bit melodramatic too. But, Nina Nesbitt’s sophomore album, and her debut in the United States, makes a strong case for its thesis-like title. Each song digs into different subjects, but they all hark back to the concept of the title: accepting change and continuing to move forward.
Nesbitt is a Scottish pop singer-songwriter. She gained notoriety in the U.K. through her Youtube channel back in 2011. She went on to start opening for budding U.K. acts like Ed Sheeran and Example. After she released her debut album in 2014, she left Island Records to release her music independently.
While she was growing her career rapidly in the U.K., the various EPs she released in the U.S. didn’t make much of an impact. It was not until the release of her new track “Loyal To Me” that she broke into the American market for real.
“Loyal To Me” was released at the end of last summer and was quickly picked up by the press. Many compare it to Dua Lipa’s hit single “New Rules.” The songs are thematically similar, but “Loyal To Me” is blunter about men’s intentions and has a heavier throwback feel. It pulls inspiration from songs like “Bills, Bills, Bills” and “No Scrubs.”
The music video also gained a lot of attention for its pointe choreography and pastel, natural aesthetic. The song was eventually picked up and put into rotation at Top 40 Radio, a big achievement for any burgeoning artist.
As a whole, “The Sun Will Come Up, The Seasons Will Change” is a much poppier record from Nesbitt. There is production from Lostboy (Anne-Marie), Fraser T Smith (Adele, Drake, Florence and the Machine), Jordan Riley (Macklemore, Zara Larsson) and Nesbitt herself. It explores a bit of R&B influence, but stays true to the lyricism expected from a singer-songwriter. The 13 song album is distributed through her licensing deal with Cooking Vinyl.
Though “Sacred” opens the album, the second track “The Moments I’m Missing” serves as a stronger introduction to Nina Nesbitt. The autobiographical lyrics tell the story of Nesbitt’s childhood and initial rise to online fame. It is so personal, but the hook of the song plays to a theme we can all relate to when you are missing what’s right in front of you when as you’re waiting for what’s coming next. It starts over acoustic piano, but the track brews into a rhythmic release that you can rock your body to.
“The Best You Had” is an angsty ballad to an ex. The understated production compliments the raw lyrics. It is definitely one of the standout tracks on the album.
The current single, “Colder,” is a moody pessimistic track about moving on after heartbreak. It hits that perfect combination of aching and anthemic that is leading pop music trends right now. In fact, that’s what a large portion of this album does. It hits that sweet spot of emotional lyrics and upbeat production. It feels exactly fit for this moment in pop where vulnerability and ’90s nostalgia are leading the way.
The strongest track on the album is definitely “Love Letter.” It combines the kiss off attitude of “Loyal To Me” and the heartbreak that drives “Best You Had.” It leans further into that ’90s sound, recalling the genius of Timbaland’s production on “Are You That Somebody.” It packs the vocal stacking of a girl group cut. It could very well fit among the songs that Destiny’s Child left on the cutting room floor, and I mean that in a good way.
The album explores the tumultuous feelings of existing in your 20s. At one moment you’re unwavering like Nesbitt in “Colder,” and then you find yourself quietly longing like she does on “Things I Say When You Sleep.” Then suddenly you find yourself reflecting on a wonderful new love in the fashion of Taylor Swift like the track “Last December.” It’s a time of emotion tornadoes and major life changes.
Nesbitt captures this idea more succinctly in the pre-chorus of “The Sun Will Come Up, The Seasons Will Change” with the lyrics: “You don’t see it when it’s happening / Happens over time / First you’re laughing, then you’re crying / Then you can’t decide.” The title track serves as the closing track on the album and basically summarizes the journey the album aims to go on. It is a slow ballad that reminds us all that change is inevitable and that we’ll be okay.
This record is a strong introduction for Nina Nesbitt to the American market. She shows herself as a skilled songwriter and vocalist that can perform well in multiple settings.
Nina Nesbitt will be touring North America beginning in February. She will be in Philadelphia March 6 at the Voltage Lounge.