Nehedar - "High Tide" CD Review ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Nehedar - "High Tide" CD Review

Nehedar - 'High Tide' CD ReviewNehedar’s Bio: Nehedar is the project of NYC based singer-songwriter Emilia Cataldo. Emilia has been writing and performing since 2001 and has been compared to Tracy Bonham, Emma Pollock and Aimee Mann.

While spanning indie-rock, folk, jazz and pop genres, the music of Nehedar has continued to deliver her blend of deeply personal yet quirky lyrics, beautiful vocal harmonies, a variety of instrumentation, and momentary departures from strict chord progressions that set her music apart. She has recorded her music at the Little Pioneer Cider House in Brooklyn, NY with producer Craig Levy since 2007. Nehedar released her 5th cd in March 2012 and is currently working on new material and videos.

I can relate to John Cusack’s film “High Fidelity” on multiple levels – while I’m taking a scene from the movie out of context, I need the “side one track one” of an artist that I’m not familiar with to grab and hold my attention. I gave Nehedar’s latest CD, High Tide, as spin and absolutely hated this first track “The Interrogation”. To my ears, it sounded like warmed over Bananarama or Belinda Carlisle – dated 80’s synthesizers with waif-like vocals bemoaning “there is so much confusion, so much f*cking noise”. Needless to say, I didn’t get beyond track one.

After looking at this disc in my review pile over the last few weeks, I was feeling guilty and gave the full disc a spin. Aside for the disaster of track one, the rest of the disc was an enjoyable listen as the music predominately falls into an upbeat (Americana) singer/songwriter groove. In listening to Cataldo’s clear vocals drive the direction of the remaining thirteen songs on the disc (as opposed to the instrumentation), my immediate points of comparison are Nanci Griffth (though not as twangy) or Michelle Shocked.

Cataldo keeps things interesting as the Nanci Griffth/Shawn Colvin only holds for part of the album before she stretches the boundaries into upbeat indie-rock (“Take It Apart” and “The Song No One Hears”) and blues/soul (“Dig Deep” and “Baby, I’m Falling”). Cataldo’s most distinguishing asset is her strong and natural vocals which shine on the ethereal “Intro” and the plaintive and minimalist “Ocean”. The disc goes out on a charmingly goofy note with “Countdown the Days” which is a darkly jolly number that could serve as a drinking song to “countdown the days until your dead”.

Anyone who has spent an evening or two at places like Joe’s Pub is sure to enjoy Nehedar’s new disc.