The Nu – Downfall – Single Review

It’s fair to say there’s an awesome Sundara Karma-esque sound to The Nu and their latest single ‘Downfall’.

It’s also fair to say there’s a decent amount of buzz surrounding this West Midlands based outfit. Following on from coverage on BBC Introducing West Midlands and nominations alongside huge names like The Streets and UB40 at the Birmingham Music Awards. The Nu’s music travels at break neck speed and it sounds like their rep is keeping pace.

Managing to merge punchy rock and roll themes with larger-than-life electronic soundscapes, they’re certainly a band who pack a punch from the moment you press play. Think of the way Bring Me The Horizon have recently managed to blend their style with more dance-music themes and you’re getting closer.

Anyway, on to their latest single ‘Downfall’. Utilising those huge soundscapes lead-singer and writer-in-chief Darius has aimed to close caption the lament felt by the UK’s student population towards the government during the pandemic response.

Darius has said of the inspiration behind ‘Downfall’:

Throughout the pandemic, myself and other university students have been completely disregarded by the government, the only time we ever get close to being mentioned is when we’re blamed for the 2nd wave or because we’re sad about not being able to party. We’re portrayed as immature and naïve whereas the reality is, we are the future and we’re trying our hardest to cope under the pressure – just like everyone else

The atmospheric sound pours out of the track from second one. Darius’s Oscar Pollock-esque, classic sounding, vocal powers away over the top of the dramatic cacophony.

‘Downfall’ builds through a couple of choruses and verses to reach a middle section which pulsates with rocky guitars and climatic percussion, until Darius bursts through again to show his range.

Honestly, it would be easy to come into listening to The Nu and turn your nose up thinking “a bunch of university students? This will be self-indulgent and dour”. But that simply isn’t the case, ‘Downfall’ is well thought-out and crammed with cinematic nuance.

You get the plight of the students and, although electronic music isn’t always the best at conveying emotion, you feel every chord and beat like an empathetic hammer-blow. If The Nu managed this in Uni, think what they’ll be capable of when they can get into a true recording studio and really stretch their legs.  

‘Downfall’ is out on 9 April.

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