Nehedar – Album Review

New York City-based singer-songwriter Nehedar released a new album “Hello Abyss” last month. Check out a video for the album’s opener “The Story” here:

Nehedar’s latest album “Hello Abyss” is the first work she has done since returning from a three year-hiatus to raise her son. The album is optimistic, consistent in style, and an overall well-put together package. All vocals and instrumentation were done by Emilia Cataldo and Craig Levy.

“The Story” opens the album with a pop-infused track that has groovy bassline and simple synthetic drums. Swirling synthesizers gleam in the background calling back to the classics of the 80s yet this number is focused more on story-telling and less on pure dance. “Catacombs” keeps the optimistic vibes going, though the meaning of this song is less clear. The two opening tracks are an accurate representation of the overall sound to be had here.

Things change with “Shedding Skin,” a song that starts off slower, mysterious, and refreshingly different. It’s a welcome change in vibe, however, as the chorus and breakdown kick in, the song goes back to the cheery side. Although the album has consistency, the songs start to blend into each other and become just a little repetitive. The track “How,” which features Tim Rockmore on guitars, has emotion in its lyrics and vocal delivery. A catchy chorus and soaring guitar solo are the highlights on this one, and the rock-style drums give off a convincing full-band sound. This song is one of the best of the bunch, and its powerful approach takes the quality of the album to the next level.

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“Hello Abyss” album cover art

Nehedar’s songwriting would no doubt be influenced with her recent experience of raising her son, and the song “Happy Birthday” forms the centerpiece of the album’s journey. It’s a track that many parents could sing as a lullaby to their own kids. “You’re Beautiful When You Fall Apart” features Shaul Zuckerberg on lead guitar, who adds a lot of style and flare along with Nehedar who has a sassy-sounding chorus with “Hey Hey look at me, I’m the one you’re supposed to be.” It’s a side of her that shows off a lot of personality, giving the album enough diversity in songwriting and sound to make the listening experience varied each time.

“Fear and Love” draws on the style from the beginning of the album: warm, relaxed, and upbeat. Nehedar can write fun tunes at ease and has an affinity for catchy choruses and narrative-driven lyrics. The go-go inspired song “The Grudge” is fun and popping, another example of her trademark-pop feelings she’s injected into “Hello Abyss.” It fits in well with the other pop-sounding songs on the album.

The closing curtain begins with “Tonight Tonight,” a piano-driven ballade with synth-strings coming in to take the song to the next level. The poetic heartfelt rendition begins somber, but as Nehedar does, she invokes sunlight into her songs and shines hope to her listeners. The final song “Sotah” is a rock ballade and perhaps the most experimental attempt on this album, as it showcases fingerpicking acoustics, heavy guitars, and a Western-style interlude that is reflective and edgy. It’s a great way to close the album, but the song itself seems to cut off a bit short and a few bars may have offered a better sense of closure.

If “Hello Abyss” had to be described in short, it would be a fun, pop-infused journey with lyrics that transposes images into its listeners. The wondrous Nehedar manages to create a well-defined album that shows off her songwriting and it’s a welcome return after her hiatus. We here at ETV look forward to seeing what’s next in store for her!

To stay up to date with Nehedar, check her out on Bandcamp, YouTube, Facebook, Soundcloud, Twitter, and her official website.

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