Few bands or musicians are able to maintain such a steady trajectory for multiple years, much less for over a decade. The kind of talent and sheer luck it takes to keep old fans and procure new ones is always a challenge, especially when musical tastes and styles change rapidly. Yet Scottish musician Paolo Nutini has remained one of those mainstays in music for over 15 years. And with the release of the latest two singles off his new album, Last Night in the Bittersweet — “Acid Eyes” and “Petrified In Love” — it’s not hard to see why he’s won numerous BRIT Awards and collected 18 platinum certifications over his triumphant career.

The first of the new singles, “Acid Eyes,” is a poignant love song that teeters between the edge of regretting past actions and having dodged a bullet. The song begins with a plucked, almost horror movie-esque bass underneath the chorus of, “I never told you I loved you / I never told you I loved you, and I looked / Into your acid eyes / Into your acid eyes.” Yet as the song goes on — with more warm instruments added on layer by layer — it becomes abundantly clear that the protagonist of the song likes the danger associated with this potential love. By the time the second half of the song rolls around, the lyrics state, “And we were gone / Up into outer space, my mind was on / I played guitar while you painted the romance / You moved so fast / We’d never last” — moving from trepidation to acceptance that, as bright a romance as this is, there’s no way it can stay so passionate forever. The song sounds downright mournful by the end, yet still ebullient with the downtempo, boppy sound that drives the song home. Even insofar as the creation of the song, Nutini says life imitates art:

“I wrote [Acid Eyes] in my living room. I wanted to try and write a song that maybe Danielle from the Haim girls would sing with me. There’s the two vocals, the high and the low, which I figured was a duet. Everybody said why don’t I ask them to do it but I thought, ‘What if they say no?’ So I didn’t … Honestly, it’s a very human thing to feel anxious. I envy people who think they’ve got it all sussed and under control.”

The other single released by Nutini is “Petrified In Love,” which is a more upbeat take on the topic of love — and also the first song off Last Night in the Bittersweet which received U.S. airplay. The sound is a mix of 1960’s British Invasion combined with 1990’s Brit Pop — culminating in a track that’s more akin to Nutini’s past hits, yet still pushes his musicality in a whole new direction. Nutini gives each instrument a moment to shine on the song, with highlights given in the middle to the punctuated drums, psychedelic keyboard and electric guitar riffs. The lyrics are simplistic in nature, yet no less clever than Nutini’s other work. With the story-like quality of the opening lyrics, “We were just kids in our new day / No illusion could defeat me / I was your man and you held me so tight / There was no sense of the sorrow / That the world brings with tomorrow / Never lonely, two hearts in the night,” listeners get the sense of excitement and anxiety that runs through someone when in the throes of a new relationship — punctuated in the spot-on chorus, “Oh, I was petrified in love / Petrified in love / Petrified, electrified in love, yeah.”

Last Night in the Bittersweet released July 1 via Atlantic Records, preceded by the successful singles “Shine A Light,” “Lose It” and “Through The Echoes.” With “Acid Eyes” and “Petrified In Love,” there’s no doubt that Paolo Nutini will amass another hit-making album and continue to deservedly cement his name in music history. You can buy tickets for Nutini’s European tour here and listen to both “Acid Eyes” and “Petrified In Love” below!

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