Nicole Turley has recorded with an array of artists under the banner of her Swahili Blonde project, most recently releasing an EP titled Deities in Decline. That mini-album is about to get a full-length follow-up, though, and Exclaim! has the premiere of a new track called "On the Other Side."
The song is a taste of the upcoming LP And Only the Melody Was Real, and it's a shimmering synth-pop offering. But despite the glossy sound, the new material finds Turley expressing her most authentic self.
In a statement, here's what she had to say of the song:
"On the Other Side" was the first song I wrote for the LP — written in Savannah, GA. Originally I did an instrumental version of the song with vocals on the choruses. Then later on in NY, I worked on the melodies and lyrics for the verses and bridge with my good friend Jennifer P Fraser (ZAZA, the Warlocks). In fact, those are Jens lovely vocals you hear in the bridge. For as beautiful and powerful as the melodies and instrumentation are, it is a song about struggle and internal conflict. Hanging on to hope with every ounce of your being — hoping things will get better, that you and your partner can be better. That you can be the best versions of yourselves together. Wanting so desperately for love to win over shadow. But, as life goes, you never know how things will turn out in the end.
The album was co-written with Jennifer P Fraser, who helped the singer channel a range of emotions — "from a harsh darkness, felt deeply when disconnected from yourself; to saying 'I love you' right before surrendering defeat; to having the strength and optimism to move forward" — into a cohesive collection of songs.
Get acquainted with Turley's latest track as Swahili Blonde by giving "On the Other Side" a spin in the player below.
And Only the Melody Was Real is out on January 22 via Neurotic Yell Records.