London indie pop-rock musician Nadia Sheikh has had a busy year, most recently releasing her latest single, “Break Free,” on Friday, November 15. The track is stunning, opening with acoustic guitar and vocals and ending with a giant swell of indie rock music, and it somehow feels both intimate and professional the entire way through.
“Break Free” opens with a gently strumming acoustic guitar and Sheikh’s soft, smooth vocals, but background elements like the cymbal builds and warping licks add an enchanting element to the mellow, pretty track.
But then an electric guitar pops in for several brief and bold indie-rock picking solos, and the drums build subtly until it’s impossible to ignore their driving rhythm. And then, all of a sudden, “Break Free” is massive and powerful, with layers of guitars and drums and a delicate vocal harmony that adds just a touch of elegance to the track.
The build from gentle to strong is unnoticeable, and that is what makes it so impressive; it’s hidden until the track has built its energy and power.
The track feels polished and professional, too; it is obvious that Sheikh has experience in the music scene – she is self-managed and her music is self-produced, and she began releasing music at the age of 17 – but there’s also an element of intimacy to the track as Sheikh croons, “And it’s time now to close our eyes/And it’s time now to break free.”
“It’s a song about realising you’ve become part of what you hated,” said Sheikh. “Feeling like you’re sucked into a society that you don’t belong in and expressing the feeling of wanting to break free.”
Sheikh will embark on a series of tour dates with her band in Spain and the United Kingdom throughout November and December – more information here. In the meantime, find “Break Free” on all streaming services, and listen to the track on Spotify below.