Nadia Reid – Out of My Province
Acclaimed New Zealand songwriter Nadia Reid's third record is beautifully crafted, incredibly assured and a welcome invitation to reflect and remain open
Five years since the release of her debut record Listen to Formation, Look for the Signs – and three years after its acclaimed follow-up Preservation – New Zealand songwriter Nadia Reid returns with Out of My Province. All of Reid’s records have painted such a sublime picture of where she was at a certain period of time (internally, and in terms of appearance: each cover is a portrait of the now-28-year-old) that it seems tasteless to pit them against each other and call this her best yet. They appear, side by side, more like travelling companions than competition.
That being said, Out of My Province finds Reid on magnificent form. Her voice has always, despite her youth, carried a depth of feeling that would suggest it belonged to someone in their twilight years, able to reflect on the overwhelming highs and lows of a life well lived in a breathtakingly composed manner. On songs like I Don’t Wanna Take Anything From You, Reid delivers the kind of performance you might expect from Kath Bloom or Bill Fay. For all the emotion she conveys and coaxes from the listener, she sounds like she’s been singing these songs all her life. Like all her thrilling and incredibly distinctive inflections come as easy as breathing.
Nadia Reid does not reinvent in the manner of Bowie and Björk. She has not dramatically changed her image or approach to making music, though brass is a very welcome addition to High & Lonely, and her instrumentals are as beautifully balanced and emotive as ever. Instead, she offers us a window into a changing and curious headspace. Reid is constantly reinventing, learning, remembering, adapting and leaving: she describes this as her “travelling album”. Listening to it is a disarming and heartening experience as a result, likely to leave more than a few listeners feeling simultaneously vulnerable and comforted. Very few people in this business can sing of love as convincingly as Reid in 2020.
For all its intensity, her music is often a welcome invitation to be still for a moment and reflect, to remember how deep you can feel. Nadia Reid’s openness is a gift – long may her exploration and good work continue.
Listen to: Get the Devil Out, All of My Love