We have gotten to the third album released from Ngaiire which is aptly named ‘3’. The type of sounds we are accustomed to from her debut Lamentations from 2013 and The Blastoma in 2016 comes out in her latest album. I noticed that the piano plays a key part in the production in some of the songs presented. As you can hear in some of the tracks, a lot more technical production is being woven into the track, producing a future soul kind of sound.
I am full to the brim of stories that many don’t have the privilege to hold within themselves; some I know quite well and some live deep in my DNA that I won’t have enough lifetimes to unpack. But the ones I know, I will tell how I want to because I can. So here is a collection of love letters to 3 entities – myself, my country and those I love both here and now departed.Ngaiire on the album ‘3’
The third track Showstring is a perfect example of the sound I hear from Ngaiire, both from her voice and the production. The fast paced production combined with that piano playing in the background is evident. Her vocals are strong and using her harmonized voice in the background just lifts her up during the various parts of the song. Something about combining that pop theme that just puts a smile on your face
Closer is a peach of a track and my favorite on the album. It feels soft to the ears, however, that underlying baseline really gets your body moving. Ngaiire’s strong voice comes out again in this song. So clear and crisp for long runs that it really touches your soul. That message of ‘not coming closer unless you love me’ is a powerful one. Another line that I liked from her was “love is like a mountain, take me to the peak”. How I saw it was love was hard work and you have to stay committed to reach the highest of highs. At least in the context of this song. A beautiful music video was made for this song. The choreography and costumes were spot on. I wish it didn’t have to end, but I will say the love story was cute how it was portrayed on screen.
Moonshine has a more pop sound to go along with the nice beat in the background. Ngaiire is using Moonshine for two meanings, the drink, and the actual moonshine in the track. I thought that was a nice way to incorporate the title in her lyrics. I mentioned earlier in the post that she has this particular sound that involves the piano in a lot of her tracks, but you do have tracks like this where she leans into the modern and future sounds. And she still has that calming soulful voice that oozes through.
I wrote this while I was high on Opioids. I just desperately wanted to feel like a whole human again. Most days I’d be writhing in pain on the floor screaming, or throwing whatever I could find near me at the walls because I was just so frustrated at how I felt … I was popping about 8 top shelf opioids a day just to take the edge off but I was feeling increasingly out of control of my life, my career, my pregnancy and the life of my baby. I was in and out of hospital with no answers, hanging on the words of the revolving door of doctors that were sent to my bedside. The more questions went unanswered the more I felt trapped and so far away from what I knew of as my normal life.Ngaiire on Moonshine
It just makes you realize from a music perspective, you don’t know how one releases themselves on a song from such trauma. I can’t even imagine how Ngaiire was able to get through the other side from all of this. Knowing this, I do wonder if this experience relates to her other song ‘Him‘ that is on the album.
Overall, I enjoyed this album. It’s not a typical R&B album if you just listen to the production choices, but that’s okay. If you seen some of the music videos or even the the album art, she’s a little out of the box. It makes for more compelling sounds from the artists, for good or bad. I haven’t heard of Ngaiire before the beginning of this summer and now she’s on my radar.
More About The Artist
Sydney-based, Papau New Guinea-born future-soul artist NGAIIRE shares her emotionally charged new album, ‘3’ via Majestic Casual. NGAIIRE has released two previous albums; neo-soul ‘Lamentations’ and pop-soul ‘Blastoma’. Her third album began as an experiment in 2017 to go back to her home country with a small creative team in the hopes of extracting unique visual aspects of PNG culture to present in a contemporary context and alongside music that would be composed throughout and after the research period.
Having built a musical identity that effortlessly crosses genre and art form, her renowned vocals, tight beats and big pop sounds have seen NGAIIRE acquire countless accolades, as well as gracing the stages of Glastonbury through to Splendour In The Grass, and touring alongside artists from Sufjan Stevens to Flume to Alicia Keys and John Legend.