It’s not always the strength of a voice, but rather how it is used. Enter Nylo, a 23-year-old Chicago native signed to Epic Records last year. Her voice is sweet and gentle, cooing the ears with sugary melodies and evoking Aaliyah, Sarah McLachlan and even Lee Ann Womack. However, the intricate arrangements – courtesy of Nylo herself and Grammy award-winner Tricky Stewart and Fisticuffs, among others – are navigated with an ease that makes the seven-song free EP Indigo Summer a well-crafted showing.
The seductive “Nobody Has To Know” finds Nylo seeking discretion from a lover, with labelmate/rising star Gilbere Forte adding a verse to bring a male perspective to the rendezvous. While Nylo is no Mariah Carey as far as range is concerned, she is in full control of her voice. Melodies and harmonies are masterfully layered over spacey production. “Cocaine Hearts” features poetic songwriting over jagged guitar riffs and slicing vocals. On “Fool Me Once,” Nylo’s vocals sweetly sprinkle over sparse instrumentation. “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” is more assertive and Sarah McLachlan-esque, and she has full-out fun with the cover of Robin Thicke’s hit “Blurred Lines.”
Nylo’s story is similar to that of a lot of musicians who come to Los Angeles looking for stardom. She studied audio engineering at the Musician’s Institute before dropping out after running out of funds for tuition. Her songwriting abilities got her booked at sessions for other artists, allowing both time and space to hone her craft. The results of Nylo’s efforts come across on Indigo Summer, which could have easily been a solid debut album. A follow-up free EP, Indigo Rose, is due this fall.
Nylo’s most promising trait is that she has a knack for is songwriting that resonates with listener’s emotions. It’s not gimmicky or formulaic, but very organic and honest. The effect of the music stays long after the songs are done playing. It’s that timeless quality that makes Indigo Summer a prescient collection that lays a great foundation for a bright future.