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Nehedar, aka the project of singer-songwiter Emilia Cataldo, is back with her seventh, and also first crowd-funded, album, The Warming House. Always unpredictable, Nehedar has shown a lot of growth and change just from last year’s album This Heart alone. It’s a fun and exciting album, simply because it shows off Cataldo exploring different styles and genres even more than usual without ever seeming unfocused because that spirit of experimentation has been with Nehedar since the beginning. So, in a strange way, a punk song like “Loshon Hara Barbie” doesn’t sound at all out of place after a beautiful acoustic number like “Come Into the Light.”
Stylistically, the artist has always been difficult, perhaps even impossible, to pin down, but that is precisely her intention. Like the great feminist anthem “Is It Annoying” off the album, it seems as if Nehedar has always been about defying expectations, specifically defying the strangling expectations of women from the media and the society in which we live in. The core of Nehedar, has in some form always been about this, but it’s as if the goal of a song like “Is It Annoying” amongst an album with slightly more cryptic lyrics is to bash the message over the head of anyone still too thick to get it.
In only ten songs, The Warming House has elements of punk, country, electropop, reggae, irish folk songs, piano ballads, and countless other styles and genres. It’s a captivating and fresh listen that constantly brings out new things with every repeated listen. Songs that may seem to be at first lost in the mix, like the gentle “Flying” after the aforementioned punk of “Loshon Hara Barbie,” but careful examination reveals strength and distinction in every single song. The Warming House will be released August 13th.
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