Versatility, control and self awareness are three qualities that I love to see in an artist in today’s music landscape. Trends die as soon as they are born in the meme filled internet pages and “good” singers can be found anywhere, but when you have the ability to use your talent to create music that makes a lasting impact on listeners and pave your own lane in the process that’s what separates the people who can create a legacy with their music and the others that fade away and become memories lost in old tweets and ancient 6 second loops (R.I.P Vine).
Tinashe has been showcasing her talent from the early days of childhood which can be seen in the visual film for her latest full length project Nightride but somehow the mainstream audience isn’t realizing what they are have when it comes to the genre spanning records that the underrated “Superlove” singer has been supplying. I know I write a lot about whether a song will find a place on the Billboard charts and the mainstream’s potential reaction to a new release, and if you’re an artist solely focused on the art of making music than those views don’t matter. But when you want to make a living from your work and strive to be considered one of the greats many years down the road, then you have to consider what the majority of listeners want to hear and what they are willing to throw their coins at.
When you see Tinashe own a stage or find yourself repeating one of her undeniable, radio friendly bops (“Superlove” continues to bang) you see an artist that can easily compete with whatever high profile artist that’s ruling the charts…but there’s so much more to her than that. Since 2012 the dreamy songstress has been creating sweet, sweet sounds in her bedroom and the latest continuation of her work shows that Tinashe is a force that won’t be stopped until she impacts the world.
Nightride is an addition to the mixtapes that have showcased Tinashe’s dark and usually more emotional side. “If there’s one thing I’ve learned / it’s that it’s up to me / If it’s my life then nobody gonna tell me how to live it,” Tinashe sings on the moody opener “Lucid Dreaming” letting everyone know she’s in the driver’s seat of her life and career. Throughout the project Tinashe sings, raps and emotes whatever feeling necessary to get her independent declaration across over hard beats and trippy production. I can imagine myself riding slow down a deserted highway at 2 am on a warm summer night with this mixtape on repeat. There’s this isolated feel to certain parts of Nightride that makes it perfect for solo listening and reflection.
Whether Tinashe’s letting go of a past love, in the mood for a NSA hookup or she’s just looking to party, Tinashe knows how to immerse her listener into the moment and focus on the layers going on in the music. From elaborate lyrics, vibe inducing production and even a binaural test to make sure you can hear everything she needs to get off her chest, Nightride is a thoughtful, satisfying, body of work that has been two years in the making. Songs like “Sunburn”, “Sacrifices” and “Spacetime” remind me of the more heavy-hearted cuts from past mixtapes. While the more experimental tracks that might’ve sounded out of place on Joyride fit perfectly on this expression of duality. I haven’t felt the desire to put one track on repeat because the project comes together so perfectly when listening to it from beginning to end but I’ll definitely be adding “Soul Glitch”, “Spacetime” and previously released “Party Favors” (which has a new verse) to upcoming playlists.
Tinashe has been hard at work trying to find the balance of pleasing others while staying true to herself. Her label wants songs that will sell. Her fans either want the alt-r&b goddess of mixtapes or different variations of her most upbeat bops but what they all fail to notice is that Tinashe can do both and also do them very well. Aside from Nightride being a gift to fans who are patiently waiting for Joyride, the moody collection of songs is a statement that Tinashe is done appeasing people and listeners can join the Aquarius wave when they’re ready.
Nightride is for the nocturnal lovers and dreamers that would rather vibe out to soothing r&b instead of catching some z’s before the nerve wracking world wakes up again. Rounding out at 15 tracks Nightride is the late night session that I’ve been needing in my music rotation. Before Joyride reaches its final destination, take a detour for this wild Nightride. You might go on the ride of your life, if not c’est la vie, no strings.
What do you think of Tinashe’s latest full length project? Let me know in the comments!
Support/Stream Nightride below:
Apple Music: HERE