Nina Nesbitt’s Return to Music: A Track by Track look at The Sun Will Come Up, The Seasons Will Change
January felt like it lasted the majority of 2019, but we’ve finally transitioned into February and Nina Nesbitt’s album The Sun Will Come Up, The Seasons Will Change was there to greet us, and what a gift it was.
Five years after her debut album Peroxide, which preceded Nesbitt being dropped by her major record label, The Sun Will Come Up is the exemplary way to make a long-awaited comeback on an indie label. The album art, which pictures a vulnerable Nesbitt in a dream-like safe haven of water surrounded by floating lotus flowers, denotes change and a sense of rebirth. The music that follows effortlessly encompasses exactly that.
The Sun Will Come Up possesses a varying level of vulnerability from track to track. The lyrical rawness of each track gives the impression that you’re eavesdropping on something intimate, and the lyrical depth and complexity calls attention to Nesbitt’s undeniable gift for songwriting.
This intimacy is what Nesbitt was aiming for, as she told Apple Music, “This album is an open diary of someone in their early twenties.”
In regards to the thematic elements of The Sun Will Come Up, Nesbitt further explained on Twitter that “our 20s are such a confusing, exciting, important & fucked up decade to pass through. I wanted to document that. this album includes lots of important subjects to me. love, friendship, career ambitions, motherhood, mental health & more.”
The Sun Will Come Up is meant to be listened to in its entirety and heard as a collective piece of art where each track compliments the rest. There’s an undisrupted flow throughout the album that makes the experience feel like a journey of rebirth and self-discovery. Every song feels intentionally placed within the tracklist, attesting to Nesbitt’s proficiency as, not only a vocalist but as a producer as well. With her production of dance-pop while still maintaining the vibe and lyrical genius of a singer-songwriter, Nesbitt’s talent is evident on every track, measure and beat of The Sun Will Come Up, The Seasons Will Change.
Track One: Sacred
The faint sound of water ripping in the background establishes a relaxing tone to the album while simultaneously providing a slight feeling of being underwater during the verses of this track. “Scared” focuses on the longing for stability, liberation, and escape of an unhealthy situation. Nesbitt told Billboard this song captures the feeling of her life as she transitioned into her early twenties.
Track Two: The Moments I’m Missing
“This song is talking about the moments that are missing from my brain, that I’m recollecting and processing, rather than longing for,” Nesbitt told Billboard. Listening to the song, it’s clear that Nesbitt seeks to evoke the feeling of life passing by too quickly—of being focused on things in front of us that we often miss the bigger picture. “These are the moments I’m missing / These are the moments I never took in.”
The song has a dream-like feeling to the production, which successfully captures a feeling of nostalgia, especially with the rawness in Nesbitt’s voice in the lines “I’ve been so caught in the motion / Forgetting right where my home is,” along with the repetitiveness of lines in the track.
Track Three: The Best You Had
“The Best You Had” is a piece that touches on the human nature of jealousy, and how ugly of a feeling it can truly be. “I think we all secretly hope the person after us isn’t better; that we’re the only one they’ll remember as the best,” Nesbitt wrote for Billboard.
The theme of this song is best summed up in the bridge, “I don’t want you, no nothing more / I don’t need you, it’s crazy that you’re moving on so fast / When I am still the best you had.” These lines showcase the emotional tug-of-war that jealousy causes in relationships, and how jealousy causes us to admit feelings we don’t necessarily want to admit due to pretending to not acknowledge them.
Track Four: Colder
This song is bittersweet under its catchy melody. Nesbitt writes about the aftermath of trusting too much in relationships that turn sour, and the way falling in love can lead to building up psychological walls for future relationships out of fear of inevitable heartbreak.
From a sweet perspective, “Colder” showcases the vulnerability and carelessness of young love, and how first loves are always full of innocent, blissful fun, where secondary loves following heartbreak make you reminisce on that long-lost innocence.
Track Five: Loyal To Me
“Loyal To Me” is an anthem that outlines the warning signs of being romantically involved with people who are bad news. Giving a sense of female empowerment, this song brings attention to the importance of taking a step back to look at the person you’re seeing without rose colored glasses, and to assess if they’re treating you the way you should be treated.
Track Six: Somebody Special
Nesbitt tells Billboard this song served as a turning point for her. “It is the moment where I’m reminded what I’m worth and who I am.”
“Somebody Special” is heartwarming to listen to, and even warmer to read lyrically. The lyrics are full of love and trust, showing an openness and vulnerability to being in love with someone and realizing they love you back just as you deserve to be loved. “I’ve been lonely way too long / I’ve been loving all the wrong kind.”
Track Seven: Is It Really Me You’re Missing
Inspired by Whitney Houston’s “Just The Lonely Talking Again,” this song is a heart cutting, brutally honest captivation of the self-doubt that is present in a situation where you’re not sure if the person is missing you or just missing someone.
A beautiful ballad dripping with raw, honest vocals to express the vulnerability of a feeling that is nothing less than heart breaking in itself. A tearjerker if you’ve experienced the self-doubt that goes into wondering if the person you’re seeing is thinking about somebody else, and if you’re there to serve as a convince to them. “If you turn all the lights off / And put your hands on my body / Could I be just any body?”
Track Eight: Love Letter
By far the catchiest feel-good tune on the album, “Love Letter” has a 90s R&B vibe that makes you feel like a total badass. Another song of empowerment, this one touches on realizing you’re worth more than what you’re settling for in a relationship where you’re being taken advantage of by someone who’s gotten a little too comfortable.
Track Nine: Empire
Another upbeat, feel-good tune that has a lyrical intimacy and an incredible level of honesty to it, “Empire” represents Nesbitt’s career after her label dropped her following her first debut album, and her journey back into the music industry.
“It’s a song about taking control of your own career and your own path,” she told Apple Music. It’s a tune that makes you want to root for her, and gives you a sense of pride to see her overcoming all obstacles in her path. “I’m gonna take it for what it’s worth / Put in the hours ’til I have earned it / Show everybody what I deserve.”
Track Ten: Chloe
Nesbitt describes this as being “one of the most personal tracks on the record” as it touches on motherhood after she found out one of her best friends was pregnant, as she told Billboard.
“Chloe” shows the maternal instinct that comes with motherhood, and Nesbitt writes “Watching you / Got me thinking ‘bout a few things / Watching you, wanting to / Feel the things that you do” which can be interpreted in a way that suggests Nesbitt is beginning to change her feelings towards motherhood, and is seeing how a child can complete a mother’s life. There’s also a tinge of self-doubt, as Nesbitt wonders “Am I doing it right? / ‘Cause I don’t think I found the answer.”
Track Eleven: Things I Say When You Sleep
This is another song that is bittersweet in everything, from the production to the lyrics. Nesbitt writes about the moment of vulnerability that comes with being awake and being deep in your thoughts in the middle of the night, when your significant other is sleeping soundly next to you and you’re thinking about everything you wish you could say to them when they’re awake.
Nesbitt confirms to Billboard that this song follows that premise, as she wrote it about getting back together with her ex, who is her current boyfriend. “[I]t’s me telling him how I feel and getting what I want to say off my chest, but him being asleep and having no idea I’ve said it.”
Track Twelve: Last December
Inarguably the softest, and most vulnerable song on the album, “Last December” is a soft ballad that revolves around reminiscing about all of the positive memories, moments and feelings from when you’re in love. It’s main theme is that even though people break up and things change, the memories and feelings still linger.
Nesbitt tells Billboard “Last December” follows “Things I Say When You Sleep” so easily because they’re both about the same relationship.
Track Thirteen: The Sun Will Come Up, the Seasons Will Change
The closing song on the album is one that easily encompasses the emotions and themes from the entire album into one, beautiful closing piece. This one serves as a reminder that nothing stays the same, and everything is temporary, which is both bitter and sweet.