Slowing down major pop hits is a trope that’s pretty much exhausted at this point. But darling pop singer-songwriter Nina Nesbitt not only kills a retooling of Britney Spears’ iconically enticing “Toxic” (off 2003’s In the Zone), but she laces up the piano-based production with a spooky Halloween flavor. “Too high, can’t come down,” she turns the metaphorical knife deeper and deeper. She hauntingly glides up into her head voice, a fragile creative choice that further excavates a rich emotional gravity.
“I took a sip from the Devil’s cup / Slowly, it’s taking over me,” she crows. The ivories chime in simple, ethereal tones, and the vocal layering is quite haunting, too. “Don’t you know that you’re toxic,” she later flickers down into a cavernous echo, stretching her voice into a ghost-like mirage. Its potency is a marvel to witness; it unravels as a ball of yarn batted down the stairs, before she later gathers it all up again for a raspy climax. “Toxic” has never sounded so stunningly dreadful.
“Toxic” comes on the heels of Nesbitt’s latest studio album, The Sun Will Come Up, The Seasons Will Change. The Scottish singer-songwriter is also known for her work penning songs for artists such as Jessie Ware and The Shires, among others.
Listen to “Toxic” below.