Album Review: Nada – È un momento difficile, tesoro

Torment and anguish shaped into beauty. Nada has delivered an album of emotional purity and arguably the best of her career.

••••• (5/5)

È un momento difficile, tesoro can be described in one word – superb.

An album coloured with torment and anguish, where with English producer John Parish, she has shaped her edgy yet wonderful songs that are brimming with honesty. Songs confessing her weakness, fragility, and reflecting about one’s existence meshed with the violence of the elements. All is not right in the world of Nada. Where È un momento difficile, tesoro translates to “these are difficult times, darling”.

This album reveals itself with the title track. The honesty of admitting weakness and fragility. Where the one she love knows her best. A heaviness with dark clouds surrounding her, absorbing her sorrow with drink, where she sings about “una tristezza che si taglia nell’aria” (“a sadness that cuts in the air’).  These are difficult times darling, but she still wants her loved one to know that she still loves him. The song permeating with a slippery sounding bass, her voice scaling between shrieking to an intimate tone of confession.

The feeling of loss is prevalent on the album. ‘Dove sono i tuoi occhi’ continues the theme of that heaviness;  this time amplified by the death of a loved one. The track held together by a driving drum sound and her voice drifting from confessional and then startlingly manic – her life collapsing around her, where she can no longer feel her loved one  – no longer feeling their arms in an embrace, or  hearing their voice or laughter. That feeling of absence, further exacerbated by the thought of not seeing the beauty of their eyes. In the track she elaborates her anguish by contrasting her smallness in this wold, compared to the power of the elements (the violence and anger of the ocean and the sky). This contrast further compounds her loss whilst trying to understand the reasoning of her existence on this Earth. Her voice acknowledging the reality of loss, as she screams like a woman unleashed.

On ‘O Madre’ she delivers such intensity singing about her late mother. Nada has indicated in a recent interview that she loves the word ‘Madre’ (‘Mother’) – as it captures our genesis, it captures love, nature, children and a feeling of liberation and also happiness. Continuing with her confessional theme, she sings about reconciling with her late mother – the passing of time allowing a reunion, maybe forgiveness. An understanding of one’s existence. Never sentimental, Nada’s voice retching out her words, where you feel the profoundness. Even as she sings in Italian, you know that she means every words she sings.

In the heaviness, there is some light. ‘Stasera non piove’ (‘Today it won’t rain’) ponders the loss of people. However when there is birth and death, the sky always remains. We are born and die in the same place. Acknowledging this provides comfort in understanding our existence. Our genesis and our demise. Birth and death happens, but the sky remains.

Photo by: Claudia Pajewski.

This album is held together by John Parish, the instrumentation and production providing the extracellular fluid that allows her poetry to exist. Unstructured words that flow and pump, the music not distracting but complimenting the devastating emotional intensity of the songs. The fluidity of the music elevating the emotionality of Nada’s voice, the music rising and falling – and then providing silence when required. All adding to the poignancy of the beautifully crafted lyrics. Despite the heaviness of some of the songs, there is also some humour – in ‘Disgregata’ I swear that Nada is imitating a coffee machine!

These songs are living things, filled with flesh, blood, tears and honesty – delivered by a singer that pushes her own boundaries, and in the process reveals herself – not squelching from the truth, where some people might  skirt away or feel overly self-conscious. It’s not that singer-songwriters do not write personal songs, it is the way these songs are delivered which further heighten that feeling of intensity to an almost tangible feeling of reality.

Sublime. Brilliant. Superb.

È un momento difficile, tesoro is out now (Woodworm Label).

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