• McKinzie Smith

REVIEW: Nory-J's “Fairy Dust” will help you groove past your pandemic social anxiety


Are you ready to feel the groove? If so, click onto Spotify and listen to Nory-J’s new single “Fairy Dust.” Off of his upcoming beyond me, i think EP, the track features the artists most impressive production and guitar work to date. Each single from the EP has explored a different sound; this one is a polished 80’s-inspired track with a danceable hook. Though it may sound one-of-a-kind within his discography, “Fairy Dust” fits right in with the themes currently being explored in this introductory era to Nory-J.


Kicking off with a rich synth that melts into a ringing guitar chord, “Fairy Dust” is immediately inviting. Nory-J’s vocals are lower than usual here, slotting into these warmer sounds with ease. One can easily imagine inspiration being taken from leading new wave vocalists of the mid-80s like Curt Smith or Dave Gahan. Nory-J is much too soft-voiced to truly emulate them, but the effect works all the same, especially paired with his distinct, nostalgic guitar sound.


That guitar sound feels right at home in this synthy world, especially as the song moves further into the first verse. Each finger-pick feels sharper, more intentional than the one before it. Refusing to stick to the “three chords and the truth” rule, the song bounces from one chord to the next, pulling you along with it with haste. It slides easily into the chorus, no seam to be found. This groove is broken up a bit by a rapped second verse; it’s a fun bit of experimentation and surprisingly smooth, but doesn’t fit as well with the sound of the track as the first sung verse. However, it doesn’t take away from the enjoyment of the song, which continues to build from there to a satisfying conclusion, with shouts of “I’m doing alright” to close us out.


Like his previous output, “Fairy Dust” explores an aspect of Nory-J’s personal struggles. This time, it’s social anxiety. The lyrics conjure late nights post-big breakup, when you’re searching for connection but don’t remember how to find it. Luckily, we have a great dance tune to keep us moving in the right direction.


If you’re looking to add another track to your Dancing to Indie Pop in the Kitchen Spotify playlist (maybe I just have that one?), keep an eye out for “Fairy Dust.”


McKinzie Smith is a former film student from Portland, OR. In her adolescence, she followed Fall Out Boy up and down the West Coast. She now considers herself very cool and normal and only a little bit emo. She now spends most of her time listening to Charli XCX in her kitchen and writing articles about things she likes.

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