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Now Hear This: Escaping Zion - Nehedar


Rating: ***1/2

Nehedar is the project of Brooklyn artist Emilia Cataldo. She's been at this since 2003 working with a mess of amazing music-makers. Whoa that was a tongue-twister. Unintentional.

Anyways, her new record is called "Escaping Zion" and it's hot on the heels of 2017 release "Hello Abyss" which the critics loved.

She's collaborated with now full-time Nehedar member Elyse Maister on this one. Elyse plays the cello so expect these tunes to lack the typical pop sound. That's a good thing.

Without further adieu, I'm gonna check this thing out.

Listen to "Escaping Zion" on Bandcamp here:

It's got a cool 90's pop sound. It reminds me of Letters to Cleo. Anybody remember that band? They had some minor hits. Miss them. Anyways, this has that same kinda riot girl feel to it. The first track "Survival" has single written all over it. If MTV still played videos, I could see this being on there. Most of the early part of the album is strong to varying degrees. There is some folksy stuff, some ballad-y stuff, and some pop stuff. Enough to keep almost anybody interested. A highlight comes with the middle-eastern-tinged "The Tainted Grain". Really interesting song. "Thoughts and Prayers" has one of the best melody lines on the entire album. "Two Steps Behind" is another pop gem and one of the highlights of the last part of the record. "Safe" is a lovely track and the adorable "Planets With Benny" close us out on a duet with a little kid. Precious.​

I thought "Escaping Zion" was really good. It was slow in spots but for the most part I found it a fairly inspired effort. If you dig cafe pop with lovely cello and delightful vocals, you're gonna dig this collection of tunes. Some will even surprise ya. I recommend this.

 

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