Nilüfer Yanya Painless 679ef

Nilüfer Yanya describes Painless as “a record about emotion.”

The London-based singer/song-writer’s zany, jazz-pop debut, Miss Universe, certainly wasn’t emotionless, but her sophomore album is more direct, as well as more instinctive.



Unafraid of unpretty truths, Yanya shows us exactly where it hurts, and we feel it. The tracks remain dancey, but with heavier thuds and piping-hot tears dropping straight to the chest. Guitars bend, bellow, and quiver; her breathy alt-rock vocals paint everything in midnight blue. Electronically sharp and approachably nihilistic, there’s an “evergreen grimness” reminiscent of Radiohead. But her distinctive sonic sensuality is alluring and unmatched.

–Rachel Reed

 This review originally appeared in BUST's Spring 2022 print edition. Subscribe today!