Rachika Nayar is a Brooklyn-based composer and producer, who crafts her music from processed guitar along with other synthesized and multi-instrumental sounds. She composed her full-length NNA Tapes debut, Our Hands Against the Dusk, over four years by digitally mutating her improvisational guitar loops, and combining the contorted textures with shimmering synths, orchestral strings, and piano. In that fluid but always deeply felt form, her music eschews single genres and binaries, as it wades through influences spanning both experimental (ambient-electronic, neoclassical) and popular vernaculars (Midwest emo, post-rock, and beyond). An EP “fragments” followed on RVNG Intl’s imprint Commend, a companion piece to her debut that offers a glimpse into the types of raw guitar loops that form the foundation of her songwriting process. With these two 2021 releases, Rachika resculpted the limits of both guitar and electronic music, placing her at the forefront of various contemporary music scenes in her current home of New York City and more broadly amongst the likes of Mary Lattimore, Julianna Barwick, and Tim Hecker.
Heaven Come Crashing, her sophomore electronic full-length album, finds the protean guitarist and producer leaving behind the ghostly netherworlds of her debut in favor of vivid, fluorescent, cinematic maximalism. Heaven Come Crashing retains Nayar’s mangled guitar stylings but expands the color palette by looking not so much to the fretboard, as to the dance floor and the silver screen. Influences enter into the frame ranging from 90s trance, to early M83, to Yoko Kanno anime soundtracks. With its M1 piano stabs, supersaws, and glimpses of Amen breaks, the album charts a luminescent space between 5 a.m. warehouse raves and the urban freeways of its cover image—romantic, nocturnal, and reckless in its velocity and emotional abandon.
Her music has been featured in venues and publications including The New York Times, Pitchfork, NPR, New York Magazine, the Berlinale International Film Festival, and The Shed in Hudson Yards.
“The cinematic and the ominous come together in curiously harmonious ways in Rachika Nayar’s music. […] There’s beauty here, but it’s surrounded by danger.” – Treble – “Nausea” included on Essential Tracks
“They’re both yearning, expansive soundscapes which were composed together and then picked to bookend the album, and the latter features guest vocals from Maria BC, who also popped up on its lead single.” – Stereogum
“There is something tragic or heartwarming with this album cover… A dreamy synth ambient electronic track is one of few that is under the 5 minute mark.” – Photog Music
“twinned, stirring and stellar tracks” – The Autumn Roses
“euphoric cinematic landscapes that feel simultaneously trancey and grand and post-rock while retaining an intimacy and closeness.” – The Mostradicalist
“Nayar is back with another cut from the album, “Nausea,” which incorporates a teeth-chattering synth that’s wrapped around by some spacey keys and guitars and builds to a transcendent finish.” – Stereogum
“the pulse of “Nausea” comes from a faint keyboard melody playing straight eighths and a distant stadium guitar line that weaves between the beats. Then, with less than two minutes left in the song, a whirring, off-key synth enters the mix, catapulting the track toward its serotonin-dumping finale.” – The FADER – “Nausea” premiere
“The Brooklyn experimentalist’s new single moves away from the gentle hues of her past music, venturing toward expansive, cinematic production.” – Pitchfork – “Nausea” track review
“…illuminates the forces that shape us and the forces that push us away from our centre. Listening is like remembering what we wanted to forget while driving down the highway into twilight.” – The Wire
“ …magnificent music full of abstract memories and synthesized, manipulated sounds that function as a two-way mirror—a place where both Nayar and her audience can explore themselves and their relationships with one another” – Bandcamp / Album of the day