Opinion Review

Nakhane: You Will Not Die

“You Will Not Die” is an apt title for this emotionally-driven full-length. Throughout the album Nakhane’s tone is reassuring but also heeds warning as he projects dark atmospheres of pain and confusion in and amongst happiness and ambition.

Produced by Ben Christopher (Bat For Lashes’ “The Bride”) a sense of European influence, like nodes of The XX and Foals, is noticeable. Textured synthesizers paint dreamy landscapes throughout an introspective piece of work comprising mostly of ballads with a few harmonically uplifting and drum-driven tracks that are dancier.

In addition the album displays brilliant arrangements produced with finesse. ‘Interloper’ feels sleek, full of attitude with a riff-driven bassline and anthemic chorus intertwined in circular beats shuffling. The lyrics are introspective statement but also somehow sexy as he romanticizes hysteria. Each track flows well into the next, creating a sense of continuity that Nakhane has thoughtfully constructed.

‘By the Gullet’ and ‘Star Red’ are both vibey, driven by energized beats that give a forward-falling motion amongst uplifting riffs and melodies. ‘Clairvoyant’ is a powerful display of South African-inspired rhythmic style transformed into a classy alt-pop anthem with a music video that challenges the stigma of homosexuality.

As one of the lead actors in the controversial film “Inxeba” (The Wound), which won him a SAFTA for Best Actor over the weekend, Nakhane has tirelessly and fearlessly voiced his thoughts against homophobia and this album is the reaffirmation and continuation of his fight through music.

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Listen to the album on Apple Music.