3 MIN READ
“I don’t feel ready to put out an album just yet”, said Audrey Nuna in November 2020 on the Fun with Dumb podcast. Thankfully, the R&B and hip-hop artist seems to have gone back on her word since then, as she released her first album ‘A Liquid Breakfast’ on May 21, 2021.
On her album that she wrote while driving around the New Jersey suburbs and recorded in her closet at home, Audrey Nuna intuitively puts in music her last 18 months in the midst of the pandemic. She describes her life as a 22-year-old Korean American with the skills and confidence that rival big industry names.
The 10-track opus dabbles in multiple genres such as trap, heavy rap, soul, R&B and much more, as expected from an artist who refuses to put herself in a box. The unapologetic and experimental nature of her sound on the album relate very well to the way she describes it herself, “a mash of things that don’t belong together […] something that doesn’t make sense, but some people find it pleasurable”. This research of new sounds (such as voice distortion on the smooth song ‘Get Luv’ or using rhymes as instruments with some hissing on ‘Cool Kids’) can be felt through the whole album as she is not afraid to try out new ideas and genres. ‘A Liquid Breakfast’ feels like a playground where Audrey Nuna tackles her comfort zone, and it pays off.
The album starts off strong with the laid back and cool ‘Typical’ that symbolizes very well Audrey Nuna’s vibe. The song does a great job at introducing Audrey’s universe before moving on to some of her best-known songs.
It is hard to believe that her hit rap song ‘Comic Sans’ is the second rap she ever wrote. She effortlessly levels up with the well-versed rapper Jack Harlow before proving she is no one hit wonder with ‘damn Right’. On the topic of rap, the self-proclaimed logophile says “I’m probably breaking a lot of rules but that’s totally fine, I’m okay with that.” That may be the secret to her fresh and creative way of writing, where ordinary everyday references are juxtaposed to some poetic bars.
Audrey’s album also features softer songs where she shows off her sleek vocals like ‘Space’ and ‘Long Year’. These two songs offer a nostalgic underwater feel that let her voice shine through. The contrast between all the genres of the album allows the former NYU Clive Davis Music Institute student to showcase her versatility and technique with ease.
The red string of nostalgia that characterized the pandemic so well finds its way back to the cinematic ‘Baby Blues’ where Audrey’s interest in image and aesthetic seep through the lyrics, but also in ‘Blossoms’, where the songstress manages to stay true to herself and bends the concept of nostalgia by layering her grandmother’s voice and laugh with some heavy synthesizers.
With her first album ‘A Liquid Breakfast’, Audrey Nuna has managed to make a place for herself as a jack of all trades on the Korean and American music scene as more than just a rookie to watch out for. Her willingness to experiment and to reinvent herself constantly make her for one of the most captivating new faces of R&B and hip-hop, which she proves yet again with her new Korean-English release ‘That XX’ on Spotify Singles. If you haven’t done it already, be sure to check it out.