Alive: Nuria takes us song by song through her soulful debut album

Alive

Tasmanian indie-pop artist Nuria has just released her debut album, the aptly titled Alive. Regular readers of the AU will have noticed I am a fan of the Tasmanian musician, having featured several of her singles over the past year; many of which feature on this new album. 

In many ways Alive is an album built on momentum, with Nuria edging closer and closer to LP territory, with each fresh single release. Whilst, many of the tracks on the album have had single releases, it doesn’t damage the overall album experience. In fact, their placement and ordering in the album, perhaps offers the listener with a fresh perspective on those previously released tracks. 

To celebrate the album’s release, Nuria has kindly put together this song-by-song walkthrough of the album. So, press play, and read on as Nuria talks about each of the album’s nine tracks in turn, offering insights into their meaning, themes and creation. 

“Alive”

This is the feature single of the album. A song about those first feelings of love and passion we experience in our youth and that crazy feeling of being so alive. That intensity of feeling fascinates me and sort of sums up a lot of what this debut album is about. As with the other tracks on the album I did the songwriting, piano and vocal recording and basic production in my home caravan- studio and sent it off for finessing to either Alice Springs based producer Dave Crowe or Sydney based producer Isaac Bradbury. This one was a Dave Crowe special.

“Touch”

This is a song about nights out, desire and the craving of human touch. Sometimes our romantic obsessions can feel as intoxicating as a drug, making the blood in our body hot, making us want to be so close to someone we could literally crawl inside their skin if we knew how. There’s something primal and universal and awesome about that.

“Headlights”

This idea started from the story of a Tasmanian figure whose public dancing and expression lead to his arrest and tragic end. It explores the constraints our society puts on us and how to face up to those constraints, be honest and proud about who we are and how we feel. I had a lot of fun working with a group of dancers to create the associated music video which illustrates the power in human expression and showing the outside world the depths of who we are.

“Precarious”

I remember when I was a little girl how the world had a kind of magical quality. Things seemed assured, dependable. This song explores how the years take away this innocent view, how life shows us of its fragility and precarious nature and how I try to navigate my new world while holding on to some of that childlike wonder.

“Noise”

I wrote this song after a particularly heated argument in the car. Two people trying to stay in harmony hit moments of discord that sometimes feel hard to move past. I remember putting my headphones on and dissolving into the sound and it made me reflect on the crazy way we can lose ourselves in music. Could we channel the discord between two people into sound waves until we are only music?

“Ache”

This is a song about letting go of someone you’ve loved. Sometimes even when you know you have to go your seperate ways it can feel impossible. I can still feel the ache I felt all those years ago from parting with the first person I’d ever loved. And while “we are not ours to be owning” — a part of me will always feel theirs and a part of them will always feel mine. I originally wrote this song about ten years ago but had never done anything with it. When I started exploring the new soundscape of Nuria this was the first one I wanted to develop and went on to be the first single I released.

“Enough”

This is a deeply personal song that reaches out to a loved one in a dark place. Sometimes a person who is struggling can be almost unreachable. How do we reach them? How do we show them what to hold on for? And what for them would be enough to hold on for? It’s a bittersweet ballad of love and questioning, shedding light on the dark but ever present subject of mental illness and suicide.

“Love”

This is a kind of ode to love and the crazy power of it. How love can bring us out of darknesses, bring us joy and carry us through the unknown. I reflected on the ultimate unknown — my own mortality — and I was struck by how much safer I would feel facing that unknown in the arms of a loved one. And I thought, “Wow, what more could love be than this?”

“What Will Become Of Us?”

This is a little tribute to 2020 and the strange year it’s been. I wrote this during isolation while I was reflecting on different times throughout my life where I’ve felt alone or isolated. And I realised how much of our lives we usually live alone and how there has been something kind of beautiful and uniting in sharing this challenge together.

Nuria’s debut album, Alive is out now. Keep up to date with Nuria via Facebook and Instagram.

For those of you in Tasmania, you can catch her at Hobart’s The Fern Tree Tavern, tomorrow for Songs From The Mountain. For more information head HERE.

Simon Clark

Books Editor. An admirer of songs and reader of books. Simon has a PhD in English and Comparative Literature. All errant apostrophes are his own.

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