Nylo - Indigo Summer
Release Date: July 16, 2013
Record Label: Self-Released
In the past couple of years, there has been no shortage of blog friendly R&B. From acts like The Weeknd and How To Dress Well to Frank Ocean and Jeremih, there has been a pretty large increase in the popularity in the genre with artists that are able to appeal to the more indie crowds. Last year, Nylo emerged with a great EP, Memories Speak, and cemented herself among the buzz worthy R&B acts, but she appeared to have one pretty big flaw that failed to set her apart: she sounded too familiar. However, familiarity can be a good thing, and while her EP lacked originality, it was an enjoyable listen and strong enough to land her a record deal with Epic Records.
While we wait for her Epic debut, Nylo has given us a short and concise mixtape with the 7-track Indigo Summer. While Indigo Summer begins to set her apart from her peers, there is still a sense of having heard all of this before that runs throughout. Despite this, it's hard to deny the strength of a song like "Fool Me Once," even if the hazy take on R&B sounds a little too comfortable for its own good. Her voice is very remarkable, and her breathy and precise delivery is sure to lock you in. The melodies throughout, especially on "Cocaine Hearts," are some of the catchiest pop-R&B melodies in recent memory. The high points of the release (her voice and the production) completely overshadow some of the not-so-stellar parts.
The real drag here, and one of the biggest problems Memories Speak had, is the lyrics. They are very by-the-books R&B from a female perspective, and all of your usual tropes about love and loss are scattered throughout the tape. As noted earlier, though, her voice does more than enough to pull you in despite some horrible cliches. On "Breakfast At Tiffany's," the predictable hook of "Lately I've been thinking about you/Sometimes when I dream it just feels so real," isn't effective by itself, but Nylo's convincing delivery makes it easy to overlook how trite the line is, and this is something that occurs all over Indigo Summer.
Still, a more interesting narrative would serve her well, and getting rid of a few of the odd quirks that feel very out of place (the Donnie Darko sample and the "Blurred Lines" cover come to mind) would make this release more remarkable. As it stands, Indigo Summer is a fair outing from a fresh face in the R&B blog scene, and it leaves hope that there are certainly better things to come from Nylo.