Snoh Aalegra’s astute lyricism paired with smooth instrumentals makes for a heartfelt reflection on the anxiety surrounding relationships and commitment.
The Iranian-Swedish singer-songwriter first broke onto the scene with 2017’s FEELS, an exploration of identity that garnered praise from the likes the late-great Prince. Now, two years later, she returns with a collection of songs that conjure the image of an outsider coming into their own and learning to love herself while others slip away.
The album’s title says it all; – Ugh, those feels again is an immediately relatable sentiment, a reluctance to go through the difficulty of falling in love once more.
Aalegra’s vocals are characterised by sultry tones and an old-school R&B husk, paired with an effortless coolness. However, there is vulnerability to her lyrics, as filtered vocals open the album with the line, “Even if we catch the sunrise/ It’s only a moment passing us by.”
Uncertainty is something that runs through her second album. ‘I Want You Around’ features smooth jazz instrumentals while Aalegra’s voice glides through singing, “All I wanna hear is Innervisions on replay / And sit right next to you.” The anxiety of letting your guard down seems echoed in ‘Situationship’ which draws on images of ambiguity, and not wanting to make a wrong move.
There are moments of strength that shine through the album, especially on ‘Nothing to Me’, which acts as a conversation of reassurance with herself. Playing with repetition and stop-start pacing Aalgra creates an anthem of consolation and self-worth.
With smooth vocals and perfectly-paired suave jazz instrumentals, – Ugh, those feels again is slick. It may not break any boundaries, but her lyricism showcases emotions that listeners can empathise with.
Snoh Aalegra plays 02 Shepherd’s Bush Empire on 24th September, tickets here.