Tiece – Nowhere, Now Here review

Tiece is one tough cook­ie. This British artist cut her teeth as a singer and song­writer with acts includ­ing Rod­ney P, The Herbalis­er, and Rhymes­keemz, as well as one half of elec­tro-soul group Girl­hood. But grad­u­at­ing from a team play­er to a solo artist with the patience and con­fi­dence to write and self-pro­duce their own album is a daunt­ing prospect at the best of times. On her debut album, Tiece shows tenac­i­ty and qui­et beau­ty, as she explores tox­ic rela­tion­ships, self-reliance and growth.

With the release of her first EP, WMN, Tiece described her music as “witchy trip-hop”, which is a fit­ting sum­ma­ry of the atmos­pher­ic elec­tron­ic soul she’s been hon­ing in the last two-and-a-half years. Mul­ti-lay­ered singing and back­ing vocals that cre­ate rhyth­mic pat­terns are a sta­ple of many of the songs here, such as ‘Intro’, which is skil­ful­ly built from loop­ing fin­ger snaps and hushed vocals. There are echoes of Por­tishead and Ghost­po­et in the songs ‘Explain’ and ‘Lucky 13’, while the album’s title track and the jazzy ‘Earth to Earth’ are stand­out grooves. Tiece pro­grammed and self-pro­duced the entire album, hav­ing taught her­self Log­ic, and the care and imag­i­na­tion she put into each song is strong: it feels cohe­sive and honest.

And speak­ing of hon­esty, the mood on Nowhere, Now Here is melan­choly for the most part. It’s been a unique­ly lone­ly year, and here Tiece vents, sweet­ly and soul­ful­ly, about unre­li­able wannabe lovers (‘Tricky Busi­ness’), dialling acquain­tances when yearn­ing for a fix (‘Phonebox Feel­ings’), and find­ing her own peace amid the malise of mod­ern life (‘Melange’). But while the themes may be som­bre, there’s some­thing won­der­ful­ly med­i­ta­tive and chilled about this album – per­haps dri­ven by her love of hor­ti­cul­ture, which is ref­er­enced throughout.

Tiece’s been doing music long­ing enough to know how the grind can break you. But in the space of 12 dif­fi­cult months, she’s helped com­plete Girlhood’s sun-kissed album and her own self-pro­duced debut album full of music for the mid­night hour. What an accom­plish­ment. Tiece’s album is a care­ful blend of organ­ic and syn­thet­ic sounds, tran­sient sen­sa­tions and relat­able anec­dotes. Like a pri­vate gar­den, it’s a place you can keep com­ing back to for qui­et comfort.

Rat­ing: 4/5

Nowhere, Now Here is out now on Croc­o­dile Records. It’s avail­able to stream on all plat­forms, and can be pur­chased through Tiece’s web­site.

If you like this artist, check out: FKA Twigs, Ghost­po­et, SZA

Image: cour­tesy of Tiece