After-dark folk voice Na­dia Reid meets Matthew E White up­town, for al­bum three

Mojo (UK) - - What Goes On! -

NA­DIA REID’S out­stand­ing first two al­bums, 2015’s Lis­ten To For­ma­tion, Look For The Signs and 2017’s Preser­va­tion, were both recorded in Sit­ting Room Stu­dios in Christchurch, New Zealand, with pro­ducer Ben Ed­wards, reg­u­lar gui­tarist Sam Tay­lor and a fa­mil­iar team of col­lab­o­ra­tors. For her third, she trav­elled nearly 9,000 miles to Rich­mond, Vir­ginia’s Space­bomb Stu­dios, founded by cos­mic soul­man Matthew E White, who co-pro­duced Reid’s lat­est with Trey Pol­lard. “It was re­ally in­ter­est­ing to fly and meet strangers,” Reid says. “Chal­leng­ing as well. I just hoped it was gonna work – all I could do was write the songs and get in the stu­dio with the right peo­ple and let the magic hap­pen. You can’t plan for that.” Hav­ing spent the pre­vi­ous six months back in New Zealand, she be­gan work in early Oc­to­ber at Mon­trose Record­ing, a con­verted garage in Rich­mond’s ru­ral out­skirts, be­fore mov­ing into the city to Space­bomb it­self. “We did it in three weeks, which is kind of a lux­u­ri­ous amount of time for me – I’ve worked on much tighter time­frames,” she says. “A lot of it was tracked live, and the ma­jor­ity of vo­cal takes were done live in the room with the band. We did maybe three vo­cal over­dubs.” She ad­mits the Space­bomb way was at first daunt­ing. “The play­ers were from the Space­bomb fam­ily,” she says. “I was the only woman in the stu­dio, and I’m mu­si­cally il­lit­er­ate, work­ing with all-male, jaz­ztrained, highly mu­si­cally lit­er­ate peo­ple. Trey had a way of mak­ing me feel heard and com­fort­able. He was a trans­la­tor for my thoughts and feel­ings and I re­ally trusted his vi­sion. He did the string and horn ar­range­ments, my favourite things about the record.” With Reid play­ing more elec­tric gui­tar this time, she de­scribes the sound of the al­bum as, “a folk al­bum, go­ing back to just the gui­tar, the voice and the song, and let­ting that be the fo­cus, not just putting heaps of stuff on there just be­cause you could.” The­mat­i­cally, she char­ac­terises the record as en­com­pass­ing, “move­ment and trav­el­ling, and liv­ing as an artist, tour­ing in­ter­na­tion­ally, for two years, be­ing a mu­si­cian, and deal­ing with sim­i­lar themes of growth, and re­la­tion­ships, hu­man con­di­tions, ob­ser­va­tions. The themes aren’t new, but they’re from an­other per­spec­tive, per­haps a lit­tle wiser.” She ex­plains that 80 per cent of the songs were writ­ten in 2017, on tour in “Bris­tol, Manch­ester, Nor­way, Spain, Italy… Best Thing is the one I’m clos­est to. I wrote it when I moved back to Dunedin. I went on a walk around the streets that I grew up on. It’s nostal­gic, sort of. I wrote two songs in that six months.” When MOJO spoke to her in is­sue 289, she quipped that greater per­sonal con­tent­ment meant her la­bel was con­cerned her next al­bum might be “too happy”. Is it? “I think the an­swer to that is ‘No’,” says Reid, who plans to be UK-based in 2019. “I don’t think I’m ever go­ing to get to that kind of con­tent­ment. I mean, I am con­tent – I was talk­ing to my friend, who is also a mu­si­cian (who may or may not be Al­dous Hard­ing), and I was say­ing, I’ve made the record and I should feel re­ally happy with my­self, and I’ve been feel­ing this kind of un­easi­ness. And she said, ‘This is the thing. This is what you do, what I do, what we have to deal with for the rest of our lives.’ Which is OK, you know. It’s part of it.”

“It sounds kind of truth­ful and right.” NA­DIA REID FACT SHEET Ti­tle: TBC Date: Spring Pro­duc­tion: Trey Pol­lard and Matthew E White Songs: All Of My Love / The Other Side Of The Wheel / Best Thing The Buzz: “My kind of sound is def­i­nitely still there. It’s not wildly dif­fer­ent, it’s just more re­fined. It sounds kind of truth­ful and right. And it’s the next chap­ter.” Drop the Space­bomb: Na­dia Reid does the vi­sion thing, with Trey Pol­lard (left) and Matthew E White.

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