After a slow-drip of singles last year, up-and-coming artist ONUR has arrived with his debut EP A Millennial Rhapsody. The three-track release shows off the young Londoner’s array of skills as he plays the roles of singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer on the project. Over the EP’s three songs, we hear a diverse pool of influences converging in fascinating ways as ONUR forges his own unique sound with soulful vocals, thumping beats, and edgy, distorted instrumentals.
The EP begins with the engrossing shuffle feel of “Move Too Soon,” in which we hear ONUR’s elastic vocal skills as he careens into the falsetto range for much of the track with lyrics about a memorable night out. On the second track “Beautiful Time,” ONUR reflects on his past when he didn’t always fit in and remarks how he now finds strength and beauty in the current moment. The song features a plodding beat and an astounding mixture of different synths and samples converging at various moments throughout the piece.
On the final entry on the EP, its title track, ONUR shifts to a more political perspective as he laments the state of The U.K. amid the complex and upsetting Brexit situation. The song has a more haunting sound, which is consistent with his stance on the political leadership that he feels is out of touch. In a statement about “A Millennial Rhapsody,” ONUR writes, “This track is a big middle finger and goodbye denouncement of the establishment that is too afraid to even admit that they’re wrong.” He manages to package that political resentment in a musically pleasing way with a pulsing beat and congealing vocal layering.
A Millennial Rhapsody is an apt debut EP for ONUR, who establishes his penchant for unusual sounds within an engaging, beat-driven context. With his unique production aesthetic and growing thematic content, it feels like ONUR is just scratching the surface of his potential.