Nadia Reid: Out of My Province (Spacebomb) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Monday, March 30th, 2020  

Nadia Reid

Out of My Province

Spacebomb

Mar 11, 2020 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Not many artists travel across a third of the globe to make a record. Paul Simon did for Graceland and many have made the trek to musical meccas like Memphis and Detroit to capture a certain sound. Richmond, Virginia may not come to mind when you think about laying down tracks, but if you want to make a record with Matthew White's Spacebomb Records and their house band they aren't traveling to you. So New Zealand's Nadia Reid made what was likely the furthest journey of her life to give over her pristine voice to the caress of Spacebomb's string and horn arrangements for her third album, Out of My Province.

If by chance you haven't heard Reid's 2017 stunner, Preservation, you might not have an appreciation for calendaring web searches in hopes of new material. The texture of her vocals is not something that comes along every day-making her open hearted songs tangible things to gaze upon. The Spacebomb collaboration held great promise (Bedouine's album from last year was recorded here as well), and for the most part Out of My Province delivers upon that handsomely.

The best songs here are the slowly rolled out ballads that bring Reid's real life stories of displacement to life. Whether the distances are between New Zealand's two largest islands on "All of My Love" or the far flung spots detailed on "Oh Canada," the sense of emptiness is palpable. Look no further than the soulful "High & Lonely" for a dose of long distance sympathy that brings chills when drums, organ, and horns kick in. Reid's command of "Are you high tonight? Come and get it" carries the authoritative growl of Van Morrison. And whoever the objects of the more delicate "All of My Love" and "I Don't Wanna Take Anything From You" might be are to be envied. 

Reid can't be blamed for having made such a long journey to want to put the Spacebomb crew through the paces. But if Out of My Province suffers at all, its effort to touch all the bases takes away from the consistency that was on display on Preservation. Reid handles herself just fine on the faster paced "Oh Canada" and even the downcast and bluesy "Best Thing" shows off her range. Preservation had changes of pace like "Right On Time," but Reid let her vocals create the melodies. Here on "The Future," for instance, the instrumentation overwhelms her and pushes her into some lower register moments that take the album off course, if only for a moment. 

Fortunately, Reid saves her loveliest moments for the album's close when she turns her lens on herself. The mid-tempo "Who Is Protecting Me" is an open prayer for sanctuary. But the closing "Get the Devil Out" is truly devastating. Empathy for oneself is a rare trick to pull off and Reid does it with aplomb. In books and movies the narrator has time on their side to accomplish it (Bo Burnham's film Eighth Grade is a recent example), but Reid gets it done just as effectively in four minutes. She sings of "making friends with who I used to be, I was a little shorter, I was a little lighter" and puts the lump right in your throat. For all of the sense of being apart, Reid is able to find solace in the end of the album that she is always right where she needs to be. The appropriately titled Out of My Province should bring Reid more attention and get her literally further and further afield. Out of her province maybe, but rarely out of her depth. (www.nadiareid.com)

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10



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