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Nilüfer Yanya is a rising rock songstress to watch, not only because of her infectious guitar melodies and marvelously brooding vocals, but also because she’s opening for both Sharon Van Etten and Interpol on their respective tours this month and early next year. Those are some pretty impressive tickets for a singer-songwriter who hasn’t even released her first album yet, but the London-based singer/songwriter is wise beyond her 23 years. Following a string of critically adored single releases, Yanya is back with a new one, “Heavyweight Champion of the Year.” It arrives with an accompanying video, which you can watch below.
“Heavyweight Champion of the Year” looks inward as Yanya sings in moody, staggering staccato over barebones electric guitar, “This is the part where I can’t think for myself.” In the video, Yanya assumes multiple different characters, but only one seems to stick: her glamorous guitar-playing counterpart, who anchors the video with shreds and shrieks.
Here’s what Yanya had to say about the introspective new track:
“Heavyweight Champion” for me is about reaching my own (metaphorical) bar, reaching my own limits within myself … kind of forbidding to take it further. Feels like quite a physical song, quite physically tired—and mentally, but knowing the desire is still there to continue. I imagine it sometimes in my head as drawing a line around me and the outside world—a form of self protection and preservation.
And its companion video:
The video is about the concept of performance and the relation to the individual. We are never really sure who is the real me. This is because we are all in a state of constant performance, whether that be in everyday life or being in front of a camera. Even when we are not performing, how do we know we are not performing? Which is the genuine and which is the fake? Only in retrospect we can look back and realize, “I wasn’t being myself” or “I was completely myself.”
Watch the video for “Heavyweight Champion of the Year” below. Keep scrolling for Nilüfer Yanya’s tour dates with Interpol and Sharon Van Etten.
Nilüfer Yanya Tour Dates:
14 – London, U.K. @ Royal Albert Hall*
15 – London, U.K. @ Royal Albert Hall*
16 – Manchester, U.K. @ O2 Apollo*
18 – Dublin, Ireland @ Olympia Theatre*
19 – Dublin, Ireland @ Olympia Theatre*
23 – Hamburg, Germany @ Mehr! Theater*
24 – Copenhagen, Denmark @ TAP1*
25 – Berlin, Germany @ Tempodrom*
27 – Utrecht, Netherlands @ Tivoli Vredenburg*
28 – Brussels, Belgium @ Forest National*
29 – Paris, France @ La Salle Pleyel*
06 – Washington, D.C. @ 9:30 Club^
07 – Philadelphia, Pa. @ Union Transfer^
08 – Boston, Mass. @ Royale^
09 – New York City, N.Y. @ Beacon Theatre^
11 – Toronto, Canada @ Danforth Music Hall^
13 – Detroit, Mich. @ Majestic Theatre^
14 – Thalia Hall, Chicago, IL^
16 – Minneapolis, Minn. @ First Avenue^
18 – Englewood, Colo. @ Gothic Theatre^
19 – Salt Lake City, Utah @ Metro Music Hall^
22 – Vancouver, Canada @ The Imperial^
23 – Seattle, Wash. @ Neptune Theatre^
26 – San Francisco, Calif. @ The Filmore^
28 – San Diego, Calif. @ The Observatory North Park^
01 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ The Theatre at Ace Hotel^
29 – Brussels, Belgium @ Les Nuits Botanique Festival
(* with Interpol)
(^ with Sharon Van Etten)