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Album Review:

Nadia Reid

“Preservation”

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words by ross jones

photograph by ebony lamb

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“What lies behind us and what lies before us

are tiny matters compared to what lies within us”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Its an incontestable truth that it takes an indelible amount of inner strength to find the ability to confront your own anxieties, insecurities and question your overall direction in life, let alone challenge it. Whether choosing to face yourself directly in front of a mirror, noting down your deepest notions of self-doubt and discomfort within an uncomfortably empty diary or allowing yourself to question whether the people that you seem to think are giving you the affection and love you need are actually good for you.

It’s a constant learning process, but Nadia Reid, with her second full-length Preservation, takes the next step – documenting the obviously relieving and cathartic feeling of beginning to find the path towards your own sense of happiness, and having made progress to finding the fullest version of the person you would like to be. Such contentment and solace is expressed with elegance throughout the record – and is done so profoundly, quick to note that such a constant process can easily be forgotten and once again needed later down the line. With sageness and natural instinct, Nadia Reid has created a stunning record of wholesome continuation.

“Remember the heart

The one that beats beneath you”

– Nadia Reid

Preservation is a vibrant and absorbing listen and one that displays Reid’s breadth in scale – the tracks ranging from robust, dynamic affirmations to humbling, modest depictions of a forgiving and tender-natured personality. Throughout, Reid’s delivery purposefully controls its context – a light and gradually professing voice echoes and unquestionably resonates through the transcending moods. For this, the records cathartic qualities ring lucidly – sketching an authentic and legitimate delineation of such self-enlightenment and understanding.

Baby I am learning, I am standing in the cold / and all the stars they are fading, it is written it is told“, as the stunning ‘Hanson St, Pt.2 (A River)’ unveils itself, twinkling, untouched chords nomadic within the atmosphere – Reid is perhaps at her most demonstrative, an empty shadow piecing something back together with stark courage – taking stock of the chaos within a place of tranquility and room, allowing such an atmosphere to overcome in an attempt to embrace the solitude. Even within these overwhelming moments, Reid is assured and resolute, and within the moments where she is backed by a full-band, she begins to narrate the evolving nature of attempting to place the tatters back together to building a fortress of personal stability.

As the folk-tinged affirmations of ‘Richard’ play out with a sense of motive and initiative, Reid is evidently emotive but spiritually grown. The backing of her fuller, resolved sound only a subtle catalyst for the determination that she explores throughout the record and delivers effectively. “We see things in a different light / I’m looking outward into the night” Reid cathartically exhales through ‘I Come Home To You’, the bright exultation of guitar whistling through the sky like a firework of relief and comfort, a beautifully understated account of realisation, whilst retaining a measure of reticence in returning to past consolations. ‘Right On Time’ is almost playful and amorous in its lightly-picked, glittering strums, remembering the lights of a midnight drive past the boardwalk, yet is dextrously belying – perhaps much like our own understanding in such misgivings. “I ain’t going to wait forever / I ain’t a turtle dove“.

The way in which Reid declares such independence through artful notions of clarity is where the inspiration lies, emphatically expressive and impelling throughout such a significant record. With ‘Preservation’, Nadia Reid set out to make a record that thematically defined her own personal accomplishment, and in doing so made a literal triumph.

‘Preservation’ is out now, via Basin Rock

Buy it here

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