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Amber Coffman's New Song "Nobody Knows" Is Perfect R&B Pop

The latest single from the former Dirty Projector's forthcoming 'City of No Reply' LP, premiering on Noisey, is a summertime look at solitude.

by Andrea Domanick
May 19 2017, 3:32pm

It's technically been summer for a few weeks now, but Amber Coffman's "Nobody Knows" really seals the deal. The former Dirty Projector's third single—premiering on Noisey below—off her forthcoming solo debut, City of No Reply, is all wavy synths and island drum accents, a piece of R&B pop perfect for warm late-night comedowns.

"Nobody Knows" pushes the vibrant, 70s-influenced trajectory of Coffman's previous releases "All to Myself" and "No Coffee," confirming that she's as distinct a pop artist as the Dirty Projectors are quintessential indie.

Coffman wrote the song in the latter stages of the album's six-year development process, born from a voice memo she recorded while driving on the freeway to the beach. It's more thematically somber than what we've heard from her so far, pulling back the curtain on solitude and its accompanying discomfort with near-celebratory glee.

"I was in some short-term kind of relationship that ended, and I was spending a lot of time by myself," Coffman explains. "The chorus is 'Nobody knows how I feel,' but the truth about a song like that is everybody knows how you feel—almost everybody. Which doesn't necessarily make it easier, but it's comforting because it doesn't make you feel so alone. I guess this is a theme throughout the album in a lot of areas—not exactly knowing how to face the day and face the world, and just being really uncomfortable in the feelings that you're sitting in."

And sometimes that's OK. Maybe it's even a good thing.

"I think that that's something that was huge to learn during this whole thing, and I guess something I continue to learn—to push through those moments and those feelings," Coffman continues. "It's the way that we can grow, and the way to being a better version of yourself."

Listen to the premiere of Amber Coffman's "Nobody Knows" below, and check out City of No Reply out June 2.

Andrea Domanick is Noisey's West Coast Editor. Follow her on Twitter.