Recorded over two years, first in Brooklyn and then briefly in the idyllic setting of Dripping Springs, a small town near Austin, Texas, ‘oh my’ is the ethereal, wistful debut album of pop trio NADINE.
Led by singer Nadia Hulett, with support from Ava Luna’s Julian Fader and Carlos Hernandez, the group has produced a body of work exploring such themes as the echoes of childhood religiosity into adulthood, and the nature of connection in a hyper-linked, but strangely atomised, world.
Playful indie-pop is the order of the day for much of the record’s eleven tracks. The first single, ‘Ultra Pink’, opens with the refrain “Don’t tell me I’m some kind of woman,” using the confident undertones of ‘80s synth-pop to consider, and reject, the labels we apply to one another.
‘That Neon Sign’ is a stand-out; an outlier, whose ambient, beatless minor chords and regret-tinged vocals defy the more structured, candyfloss style of many of its bedfellows, resulting in a haunting piece of melancholia. Another highlight is ‘Little Self In The Garden’, a spaced-out, delicate and ultimately uplifting love song. The bassier lounge jazz of ‘Not My Kinda Movie’, meanwhile, with an effortlessly cool groove and lyrics that ponder the nature of relationships in the modern era, shows the group’s range.
It is the darker tone of ‘That Neon Sign’ and ‘Contigo’ that is most intriguing here, and the album would benefit from more of this, but overall this is a pleasing record. Listening to NADINE feels like glimpsing hazy childhood memories – of dappled afternoon sunshine on a quiet street, or snatched moments of summer romances. Lyrically, it is an album with contemporary themes, but sonically, for much of the record, it remains rooted in a style that is essentially nostalgic.
Words: Alex McFadyen
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