Music You Should Know: Nina Nesbitt Grows Up Too Quickly in “The Moments I’m Missing”

Nina Nesbitt © Alex Lake
Nina Nesbitt © Alex Lake
The defiant Nina Nesbitt’s path to reclaiming her voice…

The Moments I'm Missing - Nina Nesbitt

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Nina Nesbitt first appeared on the music industry radar with her viral YouTube cover of Example’s “Stay Awake,” of which eventually gained the English-electronic magnate’s attention and included an invite on tour. After an exponential rise in online views and some help from other prominent English artists, Nesbitt fought off record label deals from titan companies looking to sign – as many would come to call her – the female counterpart to Ed Sheeran. Eventually she signed with Universal and released her first EP The Apple Tree in 2012; the title track, “The Apple Tree,” gained her major radio plays and a few festival slots. Since then, this half-Scottish/half-Swedish songwriter has had one hell of a journey that crosses continents, genres, and a winding river of relationships.

So let’s go down to the apple tree
As naive as Adam and Eve
Let’s go down to the apple tree
Fighting against gravity
Falling too deep
Can you catch me?
– “The Apple Tree,” Nina Nesbitt

After being catapulted onto the center stage of the British and European music scene, Nesbitt initially pursued her singer/songwriter sound that everyone fell for. Through her independently founded N2 records, she released Live Take EP and continued to upload a slew of singles onto her high-traffic YouTube channel. Her harmonies were strummy, wistful, haunting at times, and most importantly irrefutably Nina Nesbitt. Peroxide, her debut full-length album, arrived in 2014 following the popular singles “Stay Out” and “Boy.” Although the lyrics with all of their simplicity and youthful vigor stayed within the realm of the Nina we knew, the melodies and hooks traveled into the pop arena; her original folk essence began to exist only in whispers in songs like “The Hardest Part” and “Make Me Fall.” Maybe it was an influence from the corporate money makers looking to manufacture another teenage superstar or Nesbitt had simply lost her way in the fast-paced moving industry surrounding her? It’s even possible that this new pop-folk era was a definitive choice and a direction the then 20-year old artist intended to travel down. Any which way you turned it started to feel like the alluring uniqueness of Nina Nesbitt was quickly slipping away.

Now before we discuss Nina’s newest single, “The Moments I’m Missing,” we have to give 2016 a little attention. After a quiet 2015 from Nesbitt, she defiantly burst back into the scene with her long, blonde locks gone and a the girl next door motif kicked to the curb. The power-pop Modern Love EP espoused a sense of maturity and rebelliousness Nesbitt’s soft folk sound would’ve never allowed her to exhibit. The video for “Chewing Gum” raked in a lofty 4 million views, and who can blame the millions of viewers for being seduced by this new side of the girl they had grown so familiar. Despite the success of the Modern Love EP, this would be the last release from Nesbitt on Island/Universal Records.

Finally, we reach our Nina of today who again has found her voice. In the fall of 2016, Nesbitt released five singles off her resurrected independent label N2 Records including “Ontario,” “Brisbane,” “Los Angeles,” “Manchester,” and “Stockholm,” collectively known as the Life in Colour EP. Each song was the product of a story a fan mailed Nesbitt about their hometown and life experiences. These electro-folk tracks were eloquent, refreshing, and clearly produced with intense care. This project felt like an homage to her fans who followed through the roller-coaster of fame and unsure musical moments. She wiped her original YouTube page clean (the one that initially skyrocketed her to fame) and underwent a total re-brand for an artist forced to jump through too many people’s hoops for too long.

Empty house, bodies close
I thought that we were gonna be alone
Take me high, take me home
I thought that we were gonna be alone
– “Ontario,” Nina Nesbitt
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Recently, Nina Nesbitt dropped the nostalgic, identity-reclaiming anthem titled “The Moments I’m Missing,” featuring LA artist Goody Grace. Nesbitt outlines her life starting from the age of five, and emotes about moving too fast through the tender moments that made her life intimately her own. This track rings with heavy piano chords and whistles with electro-flurries that compliment her pixie vocals. If you walk yourself throughout Nina Nesbitt’s music career, you can feel a rushed sensation within her earlier releases. There was a pressure to stay relevant and, as she explains in “The Moments I’m Missing,” an eagerness to grow up too quickly. Nesbitt tells her coming of age story with sincerity and a fresh new outlook on where her sound can travel to. She’s undoubtedly revitalized, so let’s hope the world is ready for this newly independent Nina Nesbitt.

These are the moments I’m missing
These are the moments I never took in
I was just standing there
wishing my life would be different
These are the moments I’m missing
These are the moments
– “The Moments I’m Missing,” Nina Nesbitt

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The Moments I'm Missing - Nina Nesbitt

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