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Nia Archives Makes Her Statement on ‘Silence Is Loud’ (Review)

Nia Archives is on top of the jungle tree right now. Ever since her debut in 2020, she has had that scene and the rave crowd in general in the palm of her hands. Jungle and its partner in crime, drum ‘n’ bass, have been at the forefront of U.K. dance music so far this decade, with Nia one of many bringing it worldwide.

This producer/singer’s ability to grab you is through inducing nostalgia, whilst tapping into her emotional state of mind. Whether discussing love, mental health, or her difficult family relations, Nia has been able to evoke a personal nature in the music. This has become more common within the genre in recent times, removing the notion that rave music is just big beats. Speaking of which, she also happens to know how to make a banging beat, as well.

These qualities have been shown in her previous EPs ‘Headz Gone West‘, ‘Forbidden Feelingz‘, and ‘Sunrise Bang Ur Head Against Tha Wall‘, but her debut gives us the full picture. At just 35 minutes, it’s a short listen, but it gets straight to the point and delivers what fans love. On the other hand, it also feels fresh and shows a new side to the Bradford Junglist.

The singles released in the lead-up to the project certainly highlight these themes. The title track, which kicks off that record, immediately hits you with the screeching and wailing in its production and chopped vocals. It’s a perfect opener in indicating the thoughts of the artist, whilst driving home this will be a sobering listen. The reprise later on in the LP is more ballady, allowing the words to hit home more.

“And if I ain’t got you around / Then I’m lost and I don’t wanna be found.”

Nia Archives – Silence Is Loud

Crowded Roomz‘ is equally indicative of the isolation that Nia is feeling in her life. I chose it as my favourite track of the last quarter, and for good reason. The evoking of sorrow in the lyrics on looking for something when feeling alone will hit home for many. “It’s a facade, my persona is a costume,” is so hard-hitting and describes to a tee the human ability to hide how one truly feels.

On the other hand, just before the record dropped, we were given ‘Cards On The Table‘. As the artist herself pointed out, its more happy nature was a very different vibe to what fans would expect. The use of an acoustic guitar and organ is a taster for the more pop-punk energy we’ll see later on. Described by our lead as a ‘Britpop jungle tune’, it is a love song about a situationship. Clearly, she can do the lovey songs just as well as the sad ones.

Other singles drive home this isolation like ‘Unfinished Business‘. Here, we see a focus on feeling like someone is cheating on you and getting in your own head. Then of course, there is the closer ‘So Tell Me…‘, a poignant moment that documents her moving away from family to live on her own, which ‘F.A.M.I.LY‘ delves into later in a conclusive matter. The messages of these tracks are driven home by the gripping instrumentals, with Nia working alongside Ethan P. Flynn to deliver goodness.

That pop-punk energy I spoke about earlier comes through on songs like ‘Blind Devotion‘. This is obvious to the listener by her angst and self-doubt on being unable to get the full loving experience. The production is a bit calmer, (well as calming as jungle can be), with the choir-like background vocals fitting this depressed and bleak tone.

Tell Me What It’s Like?‘ sees two worlds collide with the poppy influence played alongside the rave banger vibes of beforehand. Here, we also get the artist showing off her vocal chops on the higher notes. As she highlights herself, The Cranberries influence is noticeable, but not to the track’s detriment. ‘Nightmares‘ sounds like a ‘big hit’, with an addictive nature and pop structure to the verses.

Forbidden Feelingz‘ felt like an odd inclusion at first, fitting more in the EP of the same name. However, while more of a straight-up banger, the direct words are fitting for the topics of the record.

This project doesn’t have any bad tracks, in fact, they’re all quite enjoyable, but for Nia to take the next step, some longer and lyrically rigorous cuts would take things up a notch. But, this is a great body of work and a true showcase of her talent. Influence from a variety of artists is clear but it’s not overbearing and shows versatility. This album is a lot of fun, and while less fitting of a sweaty warehouse, it’ll still go down there just as well.

Rating: 8/10

Nia Archives is on Instagram, X, and TikTok. You can listen to the album below and read more reviews here.

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