– featured image courtesy of ebru yildiz –
“album of the fortnight” is a bi-weekly feature that digs into a recent release of note. the articles will run roughly during the middle and at the end of each month, always on a friday; the album or body of work in question will have been released at some point during that two-week span. this column focuses on art that resonates deeply, on pieces that necessitate more than just a knee-jerk reaction. next up: nadine.
Collaborative projects maintained from a distance are rather commonplace in today’s musical climate, but few retain the intimacy and ingenuity of nadine. the three-piece is the creative byproduct of nadia hulett, part of the collective phantom posse, and julian fader and carlos hernandez, both of ava luna. though spread out across the country in different cities at different times, the trio linked up outside of austin to cut oh my, an effortless, adventurous pop exercise in the form of a debut album.
woven throughout eleven tracks are equal parts playful exploration and introspective rumination, with fader and hernandez’ arrangements fleshing out hulett’s central thesis, or pulling back to a spartan existence when the moment strikes. few albums can turn on a dime from the swirling, ethereal drone of “that neon sign” to the polyrhythmic, polychromatic “pews,” but such is the cool collective confidence of nadine. this about-face is perhaps most evident in miniature on penultimate cut “can’t be helped,” with hulett drawing more and more components into the texture as she gradually expounds on the main hook.
three incredibly strong singles anchor oh my; “ultra pink” is a buoyant, breezy quip on nonconformity; “not my kinda movie” is a social commentary that turns on the cutting plea “tell me there’s more to you than what you like”; the aforementioned “pews” is groove-laden, folding various textures inside one another. good thing, then, that the supporting cast of songs is not only equal in strength but also able to contextualize those singles and maximize their impact. the fleeting finiteness of opening number “nook” seems to feed into “ultra pink,” while the spoken-word-centric “contigo” serves as a companion piece to “pews” so searing and topical that its vestiges reverberate throughout the album’s final third.
the album’s title is an appropriate exclamation upon completion of consumption. oh my is sonically and lyrically rich, a covert operation that slowly sinks into the consciousness to leave a strong, lasting impression with many new stones to be unturned with each subsequent listen. come for the effortless push and pull of the instrumental interlude “new step,” stick around for the sparse, introspective “little self in the garden” and everything in between, before, and after.