Ilgen Nur (DE)
Ilgen-Nur is an absolute exception within the German music scene: On August 30th the Slackerqueen’s debut album « Power Nap » will be released on their own label called « Power Nap Records”.
Just a little more than two years ago, the 23 year old from Hamburg was hitting the stage for the first time. It may come as a surprise that this didn’t happen earlier, but the lingering notion that the best place for women is in front of the stage and not on it, held a young Ilgen back. « If some stupid boys in my early teens hadn’t given me the feeling that I had nothing on my plate, I would have knocked something out four or five years ago, at the age of 18/19. It took me so long to rebuild my self-confidence.“
And self-confidence is the last thing she should be lacking. An outstanding songwriter, singer and guitarist, her first EP « No Emotions » was released in spring 2017 on cassette (via Sunny Tapes), with songs like « 17 » and « Cool” showcasing her casual indie hits, littered with adolescent observations. And with these first bold steps things got rolling. A support tour with Tocotronic and slots at The Great Escape Festival, Eurosonic and Spot Festival followed, while “17” was chosen for Netflix series « How to Sell Drugs online (fast.)” Her debut headline shows in Hamburg and Berlin sell out long in advance.
Ilgen-Nur grew up in the Swabian province, studying in the Black Forest before escaping to Hamburg and taking her first steps as an artist. Heavily immersed in the city’s thriving music scene, her journey is by no means over. Where to next? Berlin.
Like « No Emotions, » « Power Nap” was recorded and produced by the Die Nerven guitarist Max Rieger, only this time the guitars are fatter and the arrangements more sophisticated. Opening track “In My Head” is a rock song driven by wanderlust, about being alone but happy when someone comes to town and drops by. « I spend my days / in my head / re-living moments / that i tend to forget ». Paul Pötsch (singer and guitarist of the Hamburg discourse rockers Trümmer) plays a sovereign melodic guitar, bassist Laurens Bauer and drummer Simon Starz provide the rhythmic foundation, their casual indie rock drawing comparison to Snail Mail and Courtney Barnett.
« Nothing Surprises Me » is about breaking relationships and being forced to look out of the tour bus window for hours. « When I wrote all the lyrics for the artwork in a document, I ran the word search over it: There are about 1500 words on the album. However, I used the word ‘I’ about 300 times. But what should I do? It’s about my life. »
« Power Nap » is held together by Ilgen-Nur’s voice, which functions like an instrument of its own, uniting contrasts: energy and tiredness, self-empowerment and deceleration, the retreat into one’s own four walls and the desire to throw oneself into the world without any support. « The album title really makes sense to me on a few different levels,” Ilgen explains. « The first one is the most basic one – simply the length of the album it’s around 30 mins which isn’t that long for a full length. The second one is that most songs are based on diary entries or daydreaming or dreams I have »
The fourth track on « Power Nap » is called « TV » and fights against social-media-induced depressions. « You can be whatever you want. You just have to do it. And stop comparing yourself to others all the time. » « Silver Future » bears the name of a LGBTQ bar in Berlin-Neukölln, « Easy Way Out” is reminiscent of Sonic Youth’s Kim Gorden, and « You’re A Mess » plays with Noiserock and tricky breaks.
With her debut album, Ilgen-Nur asserts herself amongst a group of female artists currently setting out to shape the music for years to come.