Nilüfer Yanya Does It Again on "Like I Say (I runaway)"

Exclaim! Staff Picks

BY Kaelen BellPublished Apr 24, 2024

How does she do it? Scroll through any given comment section under Nilüfer Yanya's new single or peruse the tweets ecstatically spreading the news, and you'll see that sentiment repeated again and again. "Like I Say (I runaway)" — Yanya's first release for new label home Ninja Tune — continues the London songwriter's verging-on-a-decade streak, a mesmerizing addition to a catalogue defined by its unwavering standards and steely-eyed sense of exploration.

"Like I Say" has the classic hallmarks of a Yanya joint — coiled, bone-dry acoustic strums that sound one misplaced finger from blowing her guitar to pieces, surging waves of dense fuzz, percussion that bounces around the walls of your skull — but once again, the puzzle she's built from these pieces feels somehow both alien and familiar. It's the kind of clean, driving melody that somehow already sits deep in your brain, and it's likely to stay there for a while.

Another co-creation with PAINLESS collaborator Wilma Archer, "Like I Say" finds Yanya grappling with time's constant march, attempting to fulfill her artistic and personal selves as the clock ticks ever-rapidly on the wall. It's hard to feel like you're doling out your precious time correctly, but a few hours with "Like I Say" on repeat would definitely be well spent. 


(Ninja Tune)

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