Lady Nade is currently on tour with fellow Bristolian Yola, impressing audiences with her evocative voice and mix of soul, jazz and folk. On her new album Safe Place she has blended these influences to produce an inviting and optimistic collection of songs.
‘Nice to meet you/ tell me what’s your name,’ she sings in the opening line of Looking For Love and this sets the friendly, warm-hearted tone of the rest of the album too. Her voice is a really distinctive instrument, with impressive control and range. This opener is a jazzy folk song, and the dreamy production really lets her voice soar.
On the cover she is pictured with her eyes closed, and these feelings of peace and tranquility are conveyed throughout the album. La La Larve (A Deja Vu Refrain) is a slow swoop of loveliness. Sweet Honey Bee and Last Dance are as delicious as that first bite of cake. Please You sums up the tone of this record – she will always try to make us smile when times are tough.
There are some moments of uncertainty on the record, like Keep Our Love Alive and ‘Half Empty’ – a Sade style lament about a lost love. But even when she’s feeling down there’s always a glimmer of positivity within the songs. Broken Heart is like meeting a wise old friend for coffee. Only time can heal she sings, but the song proves that music helps too. Natalie takes the friendship theme further and contemplates childhood memories and how hard it can be to keep in touch over time.
Most of these songs are acoustic with a jazz style vocal but she’s not afraid of the electric guitar either and there’s further sonic experimentation on songs like As Soon As I Can, with a minimalist almost trip hop style. The final songs Heart Beats Strong pt1 and 2 continue in this more surreal and searching style.
Safe Place is one of those albums which feels like a friend already, a comforting haven to shelter from the storms of the world. The music is rich and unexpected in its variety of textures. One to sink your toes in.