Nina Hynes – Creation EP

Nina Hynes
Creation EP

I must admit to being one of those who swoons over the elfish Icelandic chanteuse Bjork and her playful electronic works of music. Well, if her glorious voice and unique approach to bending the boundaries of pop music might put Iceland on the map, I predict that Nina Hynes will do the same for Ireland. Oh, perhaps music from Ireland is a bit less obscure than Iceland, but with her beautiful voice and willingness to try varied styles of music, Hynes may become one of the most relevant Irish artists in the US.
And it’s easy to draw similarities between Hynes and Bjork, especially on the latter songs on this six-song EP. But while Bjork’s early music with the Sugarcubes had a more rock aspect, Hynes is firmly rooted in lush pop songs, and she also isn’t afraid to rely on guitars. Still, these songs are Bjork-like in the aspect that each one is heavily textured, mixing in keyboards, piano, guitar, bass, cello, violin, tympani, and electronic elements to compliment Hynes’ lovely voice, which seems made for this style of pop songs.
“William Tell” starts off not sounding at all Bjork-like. Instead, this electronic-pop song has funky beats, slightly distorted vocals, and a very rhythmic, almost danceable flow. One of the loveliest songs on this album, “This Magic Stuff” is similarly unique, drawing more from the sweeter pop sounds of bands like the Sundays or Madder Rose. “He Turned the Light Off” is a thick and textured affair, moving along at a soft and flowing, almost organic pace, with a wash of synthesized sound backing up Hynes’ lofting vocals. On “Trigger,” a more experimental pop song that puts out a much more intense feel, the Bjork comparisons are easier to make, as Hynes’ voice matches the Icelandic waif. With more driving drums and blaring electric guitars, this song has a dark, almost angry feel to it. There’s some lovely piano and thick tympani drums on “Out of the Tunnel.” With Hynes’ vocals softer and more emotional, this song moves me every time, and it’s clearly the album’s highlight. “Bring Me Alive” starts off especially somber, but it picks up with a sort of playful pop rhythm, and with Hynes’ repetitive “in, out, in, out,” this one will get stuck in your heard. And don’t stop the disc after that track, because Hynes finishes up with a sorrowful and soulful song that features Hynes singing all echoed and desperate over soft keyboards and background screeches that sound like seagulls.
Technically, this classifies as an EP or mini-album, but with the hidden track at the end pushing the length over 35 minutes, I’d say this could easily classify as a first album. Hynes does everything necessary to make an impact with this, her first release. Moody and more experimental tracks nestle comfortably with lush, sweet sounding pop songs, all held together by Hynes’ vocals, which are bound to have an impact on the pop world. This is lovely stuff, and I predict big things for this Dublin-born songwriter.