Nadine - oh my - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Nadine - oh my

by Steve Ricciutti Rating:7 Release Date:2018-01-26
Nadine - oh my
Nadine - oh my

From the start, I was oddly enticed by Nadine and their debut album oh my, thanks in large part to the heady promo descriptors: “…music is not just an audible experience…” “…a space that opens, suddenly, and a process that catches you…” and my favorite, “…fills space with warmth and softness, each song creating its own expansive dream-world awash in memories and secret keys to a puzzle so ungraspable it takes up a lifetime.” Of course, this also sets the bar high before I hear note one. I can attest to the veracity of some of the statements, while the others still leave me a bit perplexed, if also thrilled on a purely linguistic level. I mean, seriously: “ungraspable!” Awesome. Speaking of words, one used a few times in the promos is also “lounge,” and there’s plenty of evidence for that.

A bit of history, first. Nadine is a combination project between Nadia Hulett of Phantom Posse and Julian Fader and Carlos Hernandez of Ava Luna. Hulett’s voice is tantalizing and lovely, and the immediate melodic take away is of light jazz, keyboard-driven melodies, and lilting percussion, providing a breezy form of pop, the kind that would be great accompaniment for everything from a romantic dinner to cleaning your house or simply a few bong hits to stare at the sky. Upon repeating listens, however, the lyrics begin to click, and you get more than the wispy “jazz-tinged lounge-pop” outer shell.

Initial cut “Nook” resembles a chill blues, with Hulett repeating, “I wasn’t made to last forever. I wasn’t made…” and follow-up “Ultra Pink,” holding fast to the lounge-pop vibe, reinforces the dangling thoughts, leaving definitions obscured, “Don’t tell me that I’m some kind of woman, don’t tell me…” “Not My Kind of Movie” is a smoldering, sexy indictment of relationship superficiality as Hulett chastises, “You say we’re in love too soon. You don’t understand what it means,” before imploring, “What comes to you twice as strong? What seeks you out and makes you feel? Tell me there’s more to you than what you like.” “Pews” pulses with a robotic precision as Nadia reflects on her childhood, “No good will that memory do. No good will it serve. How to forget, how to forget out of a daze?” “Contigo” breaks free of the chill mood, finding the band venturing toward electronica and psychedelia, as does the spare, countrified “Little Self in the Garden” another delicate diversion.

Nadine’s oh my is a record you may have to listen to a few times to get in synch with, but it may be worth your while. Maybe not “ungraspable,” but unique, in its way.

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