With a real deep-seated lyrical undercurrent, ‘Different Skin’ is the latest dance-rock anthem from Birmingham’s The Nu - a track that is destined to thrill any audience, in keeping with the large crowds that have been known to show their support for the artist at popular venues in Birmingham, such as Mama Roux.
Powering the track with his distinguishable vocals, comparable at frequent times to Henry Camamile from Sea Girls, Darius clenches onto the weighty concept of the track title as he sings: ‘We’re all just different skin under the same sun’. Intended to create a stream of thought and evoke subsequent conversation around the omnipresent matter of inequality, this track has been described as ‘born from the global hunger to end racism’. ‘Different Skin’ is no doubt a piece of art derived from unfortunate truth.
Sonically, the record is futuristic and has huge, electric dance tendencies that emerge from within its production. Yet, it is predominantly reminiscent of the 80’s musical landscape, echoing the likes of INXS. With a hearty pulse as soon as you press play, synths waver around a defining percussive core, bringing to the fore the classic rock inclinations integral to The Nu’s authentic sound. Erupting and releasing like a firework, the chorus is a big one, sending you into silent envisions of the massive audience The Nu will inevitably garner post-pandemic.
The intensity and sensitivity of the lyrics are perhaps overthrown by the euphoric and energy-filled aura created through the upbeat melodies, but it is this which creates the sweet spot; this is a vibrant anthem that nevertheless significantly hones in on a major message: racism must become a thing of the past. As you listen conscientiously to the track, it almost feels as if you are being chased, which is exacerbated by the fast-paced rhythm. Encouraging this perspective shift, lifting you out of your own reality, the record clearly highlights both the sacrifices people have to make in order to live a better life, and the inequalities people are forced to face.
‘Some of us are running out of places to run’
‘Different Skin’ is born from an exciting musical collaboration and features Reading-based songwriter, and frontman of Jacob and The Moons, Jacob Holroyd. Reminiscent in some ways of Morrissey, especially when listening to his individual projects, the extra vocals provided by Jacob on this track offer a contrasting dynamic. In some way, Jacob’s additions initiate this call and response between himself and Darius’ lines, creating a harmonic conversation.
Despite recognising this as a challenge, as recording this particular style of music was unfamiliar to him at the time, Jacob has mentioned that working with Darius on this project was a breakthrough that made a mark into new artistic territory. A fleeting moment of curiosity that led to creative success, this single will only seek to encourage future ventures into ‘nu’ and untravelled musical places of great potential. Speaking highly of Darius, Jacob described him as a ‘genius’ and a ‘great old mate’, which made working together feel ‘really natural’. And for Darius, who is an equally big, if not bigger, fan of Jacob’s, stated:
“Jacob’s music is something I’ve been a fan of for years
and we’ve had some mental times together. I’ve been so
excited for this to come out ever since the idea of working
together came about. He truly is an incredible musician
and making this was such a wonderful experience to be a
part of.” - Darius
After receiving four nominations from the Birmingham Music Awards this year (including Best Band and Best Song) we are set to expect monumental forthcomings from The Nu, as it is also announced that even more new music is coming very soon. At the end of this year, The Nu will be supporting Swim Deep; this is a tremendous achievement and an event you should be sure to keep an eye on.
The Nu recently performing at EKBRUM Music Session
Stream 'Different Skin' on Spotify, here.