Posts Tagged ‘Listen to formation Look for the Signs’

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Nadia Reid’s debut full-length album Listen To Formation, Look For The Signs is the culmination of ten years’ writing.  “Love is sold on the promise that it’s better than any solitary satisfaction, so you might as well bet everything on it, time and time again. On “Call the Days”, New Zealand songwriter Nadia Reid cuts to the heart of this deception: “I was happy on my own,” she sings in a plainspoken lilt. “I would call the days as they were known.” Yet there’s no trace of vengeance in her deep, capable voice, and the surface of her gorgeous song remains steady, as a raga-like drone anchors rolling acoustic guitar and languid cello. Instead, like Laura Marling or Joan Shelley, the self-assurance Reid had once cultivated acts as its own safe harbor, turning the event into a meditation rather than a rupture. For a new artist, her confident grace is all the more remarkable…”

Nadia Reid, a singer songwriter from Port Chalmers, New Zealand, is a folkish, slightly country, roots-oriented singer-songwriter. In the words of her songs, love is dangerous, good things are missed or longed for, and habits last a long time; in the music, guitars twang spaciously and the drumming, when present, moves with slow stealth…

Originally released November 27th, 2015

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Listen to formation, look for the signs was recorded in July 2014 at the Sitting Room in Lyttelton, New Zealand. Players on this record were Richie Pickard, Sam Taylor, Joe McCallum and Anita Clark.

One last push in Australia. It’s been bloody great. Thank you, Sydney for being so kind to an over-tired, over-caffeinated New Zealander. Brisbane'ers can find tickets for tonight on the Junk Bar website. Or on the door at The Junk Bar, $15. Please...

New Zealand singer/songwriter Nadia Reid’s debut album dissects a relationship whose end illuminates new layers of failure and hidden motives with each re-examination. Reid’s outlook on love may be hopeless, but her blunt words are cocooned by the warmth and unusual hookiness of the varied arrangements.

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Nadia Reid is a folk artist based in Port Chalmers, New Zealand. The 24-year-old singer-songwriter has spent the better part of the last decade writing the songs for her debut album “Listen to Formation, Look for the Signs”  a ten-track collection of folk, blues and alt-country.

Throughout the album, Reid presents a maturity that reflects on love and life’s blazes with a measure of intricacy and courage within melancholy.

Recorded in 2014 by Ben Edwards (of Lyttelton Records) with Reid’s band consisting of bassist Richie Pickard, guitarist Sam Taylor and percussionist Joe McCallum, the album was originally given limited release to New Zealand and Australia in early 2015. After catching international attention, Listen to Formation, Look for the Signs now out via Spunk Records and Scissor Tail (U.S.). Reid is currently in Melbourne, opening a series of shows for fellow New Zealanders Tiny Ruins.

Nadia Reid
Listen to Formation, Look for the Signs
Scissor Tail / Spunk

 

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New Zealand songwriter Nadia Reid’s debut album begins with the kind of Zen-like certainty that only comes after taking stock. “When I hit the ground in all my glory/ I will know where I have come from,” she sings on “Runway”, its opening track. Listen to Formation, Look for the Signs finds the 24-year-old Aucklander dissecting a relationship whose end illuminates new layers of failure and hidden motives with each re-examination. Reid’s outlook on love may be hopeless, but her blunt words are cocooned by the warmth and unusual hookiness of the varied arrangements.

Listen is a soothing, folky Americana album that recalls the work of Laura Marling and Gillian Welch. Reid isn’t reinventing anything, in other words, though Listen is itself more inventive than many records of its ilk. Its main mode is a kind of glowering hush made up of gentle acoustic guitar, glints of pedal steel from Sam Taylor, and Richie Pickard’s glacial double bass, very occasionally chased by Joe McCallum’s spindly drums. The band changes the pace with waltzing rhythms that evoke rural dance halls (“Just to Feel Alive”), or pare back the already-ghostly instrumentation to let Reid’s nimble voice come to the fore (“Ruby”).

The stormy weather of “Reaching Through” is broken up with sparkling, ascendent layers of Reid’s voice and strings; the bowed guitars and clanking metallic chords of “Seasons Change” .  The gorgeous “Call the Days” marries the poppier sensibility of Reid’s heavy songs with the grave palette of her more candlelit numbers. Throughout, she shapes her words into characterful, sticky hooks, which feels rare for this genre of music.

Not to underestimate the experiences behind Reid’s lyrics, but the loss of faith that unravels throughout the record comes off a little grave, reminiscent of those fogged post-heartbreak moments where it’s impossible to believe you’ll ever be happy again—the kind you look back on and laugh. And some of these songs are seven years old, written in her teens, which may explain why love is a “fiery black disease” and delusion, marriage is a convenience, and she can’t even believe other people’s happiness. “Bittersweet I am when it comes to young love,” Reid sings on “Ruby”,

But there are also beautiful, revealing turns of phrase: on “Reaching Through” Reid admits, “If I am bound for something, honey won’t you know, that I always take the shortest fucking road.” “Seasons Change” sneaks a crushing truth into the lifespan of a relationship: “It’s good to love a heart who surely understands/ The coming of the day/ The beauty of the land/ The act of being sorry/ The breaking of a man.” “Call the Days” feels like the resolution to all the heartache and anger, Reid declaring, “I threw out my winter coat/ I cut the sleeves off all I’d known.” Although by no means the finished article, Reid’s acute understanding of where she’s been sets her up nicely for what happens next.

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Listen to formation, Look for the Signs was recorded in July 2014 at the Sitting Room in Lyttelton, New Zealand. Players on this record were Richie Pickard, Sam Taylor, Joe McCallum and Anita Clark.