Nicky Venus – ‘Little Runner’ EP

80’s electro revived and given a brand new life.


There’s something of an 80’s revivalist vibe to many of the greatest electropop tracks of the last few years, as if the spirit of the past has come back around again in a cyclical motion. Just look at Chvrches, for example.

A more pertinent example would be Nicky Venus, particularly with his new EP ‘Little Runner’. It’s a release packed full of modern sounds and production enriched with an intense 80’s flavour. But to write it off as “just another retropop release” would be a foolish mistake to make – it’d be dismissing an extremely enjoyable EP of flowing anthems.

From start to finish there isn’t a dull moment of the EP. Venus takes every precaution to avoid the common pitfalls of electropop pacing, crafting a release that doesn’t feel too drawn out or too eager to end. Title track and opener ‘Little Runner’ bounces along with a solid yet understated rhythm section punctuated by keys that give a strangely Noel Gallagher vibe (‘AKA…What A Life’, anyone?), while ‘Bodily Love’ is a staggering behemoth of synths and ‘Heaven Knows’ plays out like an electro-trap hymn.

The consistent fluctuations in pace keep things interesting so there’s no drifting off and missing a second of the glory. With a smooth baritone vocal giving an equal blend of melancholy and optimism to tracks and rich rivers of melody flowing in the background, there’s no determining which is the dominant element of Nicky Venus‘ sound. It’s an equal partnership of instrument and voice, creating an enjoyably textured sound.

While the consistent lyrical theme of love may be grating for some, the outcome varies each time. Each track is unique and, more importantly, strong enough to stand on its own as a single. ‘Little Runner’ runs for 23 minutes without running the risk of getting tiresome, full of the kind of infectious anthems-in-waiting that come only from true talent.

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