Artists who have such a distinctive voice that they can never be mistaken for anyone else are few and far between. Lady Nade, otherwise known as Bristol-based singer-songwriter Nadine Gingell, is one such. High, smoke and honey-toned with a slight quivering bluesy warble, it beguiles and engages, whether she's purring seductively or belting out to a full brass backing. If I had to make a comparison, then perhaps a female Antony Hegarty imbued with the spirit of Billie Holiday might be the closest I could get
Musically, citing Nina Simone, Joan Armatrading and Amy Winehouse as influences, she embraces shades of folk, jazz, gospel, blues and country and weaves these into her equally stylistically diverse songs. From the very start of her crowd-funded debut album, the liltingly waltzing titular opening track with its double bass accompaniment lets you know you're listening to a consummate, confident and relaxed performer, one whose honed her craft on stage since the age of 14. The blurb describes it as evoking a 50s New York basement jazz club, but its airy nature seems more in keeping with the ambience of an open summery field and clear blue skies. If you want the cellar dive vibe, then you should perhaps direct yourself to the Latin shades of "6AM" or "Those Late Nights", a country-tinted number that blossoms from a simple acoustic guitar opening to enfold double bass, Hammond organ and a tasty electric guitar break from Seb Gutiez. But even here, there's a still a delightful lightness of touch.
Her soul inclinations are first heard on the uptempo swing of "Waiting For You" with its parping horns and easy Stax sway, while there's more of an Atlantic country soul shade to the slow dance "Don't Make Him Wait", a bluesier groove on "I Got You Daddy" with its gospel-hued chorus and a decidedly funky feel to chugging, edgy drum beat album closer "Get You On My Own".
Elsewhere, she paints those country colours across the breathily sung, gently rolling Complicated and the limpid loveliness of "Kiss This Troubled Mind" while the hook-waltzing "Mind's Made Up" is the sort of soul ballad you could imagine Otis Redding having sung at his peak.
With lyrics that concern loss, love and hope, her songs are as relatable as they are intoxicatingly listenable, fully justifying the album's title. A star is most certainly born.
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