NIKI releases her second studio album, simply titled Nicole, two years after the release of her first album, MOONCHILD. The album title is eponymous of the musician’s full name, which is Nicole Zefanya.
As she has released engaging tracks that showcase her insightful songwriting throughout this year, such as “Before” and “Oceans & Engines,” the anticipation around her next album has increased. Niki reflects on her past with such accuracy and casualness that it seems like she’s chatting to a friend in the song “High School in Jakarta,” which she released in the week leading up to the album’s premiere. In this song, Niki uses details to her advantage, and the song shows how she does this. She depicts the complex dynamics and themes of adolescence via the use of believable characters she has created.
Months ahead of the release, the musician took to Instagram to share the meaning behind the album, stating: “This project is without a doubt my most favorite thing I have ever made as an artist. It’s where younger me and current me meet and hang and have a fucking blast together. No words adequately convey how stupid proud I am of it and every part surrounding it.”
Half of this album is comprised of songs that have never been released before, while the remainder is comprised of re-recorded versions of songs that were previously available on NIKI’s old YouTube channel. It was on that channel that she posted the original versions of her songs when she was a teenager, many years before she was discovered and signed by 88rising. Thus, songs like “Anaheim” and “Milk Teeth” may be familiar to long-time fans of the musicians while other cuts take us into a completely unheard side of NIKI’s artistry.
Listen to Nicole below.