Akine - 'No Gold'
The new single 'No Gold', by Ukrainian singer/songwriter Akine, is hauntingly and poetically stunning.
Describing herself as an 'alternative pop sound with electronic influences', Akine is reminiscent of artists such as Sia, Pvris and Lorde, and her voice is key to creating the dark, atmospheric realm of this reflective track.
The song slowly, almost tentatively, builds momentum. First comes electronic pulsing, over a gently crooning backing track- the perfect accompaniment to Akine's opening lyrics, detailing how 'nightmares come streaming with the water', bringing to mind an image of encroaching darkness, and reflecting the darkness felt by the girl as she is haunted by the experiences of her life- and encapsulating the understated brilliance of the song. Next comes drums in an almost clockwork-esque effect, complimenting the ethereal tone created by her gentle singing, before erupting into the first chorus of both literal and metaphorical 'gold', and then once more fading into the background. The second verse is similar in tone to the first- and yet seems to signify a change in Akine, coming across as more confident in her sound and the song as a whole, reflective of the figures streaming into her life with the 'sunlight', temporarily offering the hope which comes with a new day, before ultimately falling back to the chorus, showing how her life was unable to escape the ruin into which it had fallen. This leads to the final verse- a more acoustic, and yet altogether emotionally intense few lines laden with pathos, wistfully exploring how the girl's life could have gone if she had not become embroiled in that which had destroyed her life- 'back to a time when she was clean and fresh'- before being tempted by the 'city lights in her eyes', and ultimately leaving the girl 'numb' to the feelings and experiences occuring around her, alone.
So, too, will the listener feel alone; once sucked into 'no gold', they will forget the world around them and, if only for a short time, will be transported into the noir world of Akine's emotive new song.
Words by James O'Sullivan