A one-man music project is no easy feat, and yet more and more musicians insist on making it look that way. Just ask Nuitville, Ukraine’s latest blackgaze export, courtesy of musician Tristan Nuit. If the debut EP When The Darkness Falls is anything to go by, he has a very promising career ahead of him.
The opening title track begins with an ethereal choral line over twinkling synths, evoking the beautiful artwork of a young boy gazing on a moon-maiden. This smoothly segues into blistering blackgaze reminiscent of early Alcest, with the tremolo guitar soaring over a thunderous drum line. The vocals are an evenly-balanced mix of clean with choral backing and howling roars akin to those of Stéphane Paut. In short, it’s everything you could want from a blackgaze song. But, it’s not just early Alcest that comes to mind – though that’s the biggest influence on this EP. The melody evokes shades of Violet Cold, a one-man project from Azerbaijan, but also audible is the raw edge of both Amesoeurs (another of Stéphane Paut’s myriad projects) and Void Ritual, another one-man project (there’s a theme here, but I can’t put my finger on it) from New Mexico.
Nuit doubles down on the Amesoeurs influence across the rest of the EP with “Cold Water” potentially fitting in on either Ruines Humaines or Amesoeurs and, indeed, there is a cover of “Recueillement” from the latter album. Taking it at a slightly brisker tempo, Nuit’s cover shaves about twenty seconds off the original, and gives it a bit more of a polished production.
The main problem of the EP is that after those three songs, it’s over. There’s unfortunately not enough here to get a true sense of what Nuit is capable of. Overall, he’s made an excellent EP of Stéphane Paut-influenced music, yet Nuit just isn’t Paut. There’s more to blackgaze than just Alcest and Nuit must take in a broader palette of influences to make something that is truly his own. Obviously no music is created in a vacuum, and if there’s more music out there that’s influenced by Paut, that’s no bad thing, however there needs to be a more individual stamp of identity on Nuitville’s material before it ultimately becomes Alcest knock-off status. This is not to say the EP is bad – far from it. It’s very promising work and Nuit is a musician we would do well to keep an eye on as his career grows. In the end, he just needs a stronger sense of his own musical identity and we may see true greatness.