This ‘Nocturnal Sunshine’ review was written by Leonardo Verzaro, a GIGsoup contributor.

Maya Jane Coles’ music definitely belongs to night-time. Born in London, the young DJ and producer is one of the most promising acts in the British deep-house scene. With ‘Nocturnal Sunshine’ she launches a new electronic project showing her will to explore some darker dubstep scenarios mixed up with a trip-hop song-writing approach. The result is this debut self-titled album which reflects interesting ideas in spite of a general sense of “opportunity loss”.

“Believe” is immediately welcoming the listener to a conflicting sound-environment, a musical texture where darkness and light are intertwined in a unique oxymoron. Vocals are performed by emerging artist Chelou, who enriches the song with a murmured evocative tone. Probably the best track on the album, the catchiest for sure.

Even if the rhythm turns jumpy and starts floating on obscure bass-frequencies, some songs never reach that peak of intensity they’re supposed to (“Take me there”, “Drive”); some others remain instead like suspended in a state of inconsistency that flows into pure boredom (“It’s Alright”).

“Down By the River” is a stand out track with Maya’s seductive voice leading us through a grimy bass-journey. Broadly the handling of bass-lines is remarkable and functional throughout the album: in one moment it is pounding and distorted stirring up the groove, in the next it transforms into a subtle constant trickle.

In “Can’t hide the way I feel” she manages to construct an alluring pattern of electronic arpeggios leaning upon a reverberated vocal sample. The atmosphere is dreamlike and ethereal, but the track lingers and the arrangement proves a lack of compelling ideas. The album concludes with the beautiful “Hotel”, a dark-tinted tune where Maya’s voice potentially resembles Karin Dreijer Andersson from The Knife.

“Nocturnal Sunshine” is overall a disappointing album. You’ll maybe perceive some distant echoes of Burial and Apparat; you might also enjoy some of its dark ambiances but it ultimately sounds inconclusive, missing the chance of fully fascinating the listener.

‘Nocturnal Sunshine’ is out now on I/AM/ME

The full track-listing for ‘Nocturnal Sunshine’ is as follows…

‘Intro (Holding On)’

‘Believe’ featuring Chelou

‘It’s Alright’

‘Take Me There’

‘Drive’

‘Footsteps’

‘Down by the River’ featuring Catnapp

‘Bass Bin’

‘Can’t Hide the Way I Feel’

‘Intergalactic’

‘Skipper’

‘Hotel’

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Nocturnal Sunshine Album

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