[pullquote]This girl has an uncommon gift for melody[/pullquote]
Nehedar, AKA Emilia Cataldo, delivers her fifth, self-released album, High Tide, which will undoubtedly delight fans of her wonderfully eclectic, often quirky music. Album opener The Interrogation has refreshing pop-synth stylings that can’t fail to elicit a joyous mood from listeners prepared to embrace this track’s retro, electronic tones and Vocoder-laden verses. The Interrogation’s high-spirited vibes are also perfectly matched by Nehedar’s wonderfully colourful vocal performance. Indeed there is a refreshing innocence to Nehedar’s voice which has none of the affectations and histrionics that one so often hears in lesser vocalists keen to forge an identity for themselves amongst the morass of ‘me too’ clones. By the time I am on to track 2: High Tide, I am hooked!
This girl has an uncommon gift for melody and the arrangements one encounters as one traverses this album never fail to surprise and impress. Indeed, there is a marked sophistication to many of Nehedar’s songs which belie their self-written origins and credit for this must surely go to arranger and producer Craig Levy whose sympathetic approach to Nehedar’s craft represents a union of rare concordance. I am reminded somewhat of Joni Mitchell (no faint praise) as I bathe my ears in the lushness of Distracted, yet Nehedar’s unflinchingly unique take on life once again makes such easy comparisons somewhat redundant. Lyrics taken from this track’s chorus say it all: “You carve the turkey so well. My father loves you. You send me flowers when you’re away.” Not exactly typical of love song sentiments, yet such idiosyncrasies are what make this album so appealing and unique.
Nehedar’s talents extend to playing many of the instruments on the album, a discovery that left me suitably impressed. Finding a favourite song amongst High Tide’s fourteen tracks is a challenge to which I have yet to rise. In fact I’d sooner admit defeat so as to be afforded the opportunity to discover that elusive song in order to spend more time in the presence of the wonderfully musical chameleon that is Nehedar.
Reviewed by Andy Roles