NIK:11 – 6 A.M.
The single “6 A.M.” from young artist NIK:11 heralds a powerful new musical voice fully realizing itself. NIK:11 isn’t merely content with building herself into some new figure on the modern pop scene. Instead, “6 A.M/” presents a direct challenge to those who believe modern pop, electronica, and even a smattering of rock attitude cannot blend together in an effective stew. She proves such people conclusively wrong. “6 A.M.” brings together seemingly disparate influences like The Crystal Method and Lady Gaga together without ever coming off sounding premeditated or too heavy handed. Instead, it pops vibrantly from the first and comes off as a wholly individual effort laying solid groundwork for her future work. The radio edit of this song is a potent cut from the first and should be enormously popular either over a personal sound system or, even more ideally, on a dance floor.
Naturally, the track centers on NIK:11’s powerful voice and sharply worded lyrics. Her voice has a natural bent towards pop gems, but there’s ample rock muscle running through her young pipes that dovetails well into the song’s musical attributes. She, likewise, has a talent for phrasing in a genre and style not particularly renowned for any sort of phrasing nuance. To put it bluntly, she makes listeners believe. The lyrical content incorporates a number of phrases common to us all, but she threads those lines together in such a way that a genuine personality emerges from this song quite unlike anything else you’ll hear. The lines, likewise, are cut with a chisel – there isn’t a single extra word in any of these lines that fail to drag the song’s emotional tenor down. The words, as well, have an extraordinarily punchy sound that complements the sound very well.
The musical arrangement pops from the first. The percussion driving the song forward is quite varied, surprisingly so perhaps, and never relies solely on electronically driven drums. There’s plenty of that in the song and it has bracing warmth rather than the cold precision we are typically accustomed to from these sorts of instruments. There’s some inventive live percussion, the analog variety, that comes in during the song’s second half and it has an astonishingly polyrhythmic, even Latin, flavor. The song doesn’t run on too long; instead, we get the sense that there’s not even a second here where things go too far and the song remains connected to listeners throughout the entirety of the tune. The plethora of electronica and synth flourishes laden throughout the song is colorful, warm, and often quite musical. “6 A.M.” builds to a memorable climax and serves as a final notice to listeners that this extraordinary performer is laying down a gauntlet for future releases that she clearly has the talent to match. NIK:11 is here to stay and the musical world is far more interesting for it.