Nadia Nair, Beautiful Poetry
FOR FANS OF: Bat For Lashes, Sia, Laura Mvula
I literally just heard this album for the first time this morning; I’m listening to the second-to-last track as I type this. But the instant power and punch of this record is undeniable. Nadia Nair has the vocal power of pop stars like Sia and Jessie J with the musical creativity and diversity of Bat for Lashes or (last week’s Discover entry) Laura Mvula. Incorporating beats with an eye to the globe, Nadia Nair is more than an exotic novelty; in her unique instrumentation and potent vocal range, she creates beds of melody and power. Imagine Banks but with a bigger voice, and you might get something like “Clocks in the Dust.” Imagine The Weeknd without the gruesome depravity and you might have something like “Anarchy in Me.” I’m having a hard time coming up with analogues for “Hardships,” but you just NEED to listen to it. By all rights, this woman could be the biggest pop singer on the planet by decade’s end.
Nadia Reid, Listen to Formation, Look for the Signs
FOR FANS OF: Laura Marling, early Cat Power, Sharon Van Etten
You may find, as I (hopefully) continue posting these recommendations, that I find a lot of folk music on my playlists. Beyond the fact that yes, I do like folk music, the real reason this happens is that my wife is a big folk music fan, and before switching to a Spotify Family account (which gives us separate profiles), my listening history was more or less split between my selections and hers. As a result, I get a lot of suggestions for folk, Americana, bluegrass, and other subtle acoustic music. That said, most of the time, I’ll only recommend it to people other than my wife if I really, truly enjoy it myself. Such is the case with Nadia Reid, the New Zealand singer-songwriter whose buttery voice and simple arrangements recall the best of performers like Laura Marling’s Once I Was An Eagle and early Sharon Van Etten. From the opening track, “Runway,” the album is a sweet dive through rich strumming and thoughtful lyricism, punctuated at surprising moments with punchy rock tracks like “Seasons Change,” and culminating in shining uplift through the closing track, “Call the Days.”