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Ness Nite makes it-girl tracks you can get ready to go out to, and then pop on at 3 a.m. after you get home. She’s mastered the perfect blend of R&B and earworm pop tied together with the electro-atmospheric production everyone’s doing these days, but not mastering. With her new single, “Tightrope,” think Kelela, FKA Twigs, SZA, but at a roller rink filled with small pastel asteroids. And with comparable artists finally having their mainstream heyday in recent years, jumping on the Ness bandwagon seems like no brainer.
Following a smattering of attention-worthy singles, the Minneapolis artist’s moody first EP Nite Time came out last year. Not long after, she signed to POW records, relocated to New York, and linked up with the unequivocal Mike Frey and Alex Tumay on her first LP Dream Girl, slated to come out in March. In October, the album’s first single “Expectations” marked her new growth in sound and gearshift in rapping: “diamonds falling off my lips / I only spit the coldest shit.”
Her latest single, “Tightrope,” might actually be her catchiest track yet, with layers of sparse and weightless electronic beats under an unstoppable hook, tied together with her effortless brand of bars. It’s the soundtrack to someone just making it all up as they go along and looking good as hell while they do it. Here's what Ness had to say about the single:
Tightrope is about doing what you need to do to stay up. When I wrote it, it was about a specific situation, but it has evolved with me. The further I get from that situation, the more the song means to me, the more situations it applies to. At its most broad I think it's about me doing whatever I can do to contribute to my own happiness. I think its about accepting the things that are not in my hands and learning to mold the things that are. It's a "we're gonna take this one step at a time" sort of anthem.
Aside from ushering you into the weekend the best way possible, “Tightrope” will help acquaint you with Ness Nite before Dream Girl is featured as VMP’s March 2018 Rising pick. Listen below:
Amileah Sutliff is a New York-based writer, editor and creative producer and an editor of the book The Best Record Stores in the United States.