Nadine is a trio headed by singer Nadia Hulett. She sings and apparently plays keyboards, and is joined by Julian Fader and Carlos Hernandez on rhythm. I think. The lineup is vague and some of the songs seem to be all keyboards while some have some guitars.
Ms. Hulett is the star here -- she has a clear voice and she sings lightly, almost speaking most of her parts.
The music backing her up is minimal and mellow. Drums tap, keyboards tinkle, sometimes there is a faint bass riff, or some light guitar, or maybe a subtle electro burbling.
To be honest, the overall effect of this keyboard heavy light rock with the light vocals is to call back to the 1970s. At times, the music of Nadine is like easy listening, or the mellower moments of Fleetwood Mac, or some light disco. This might be a turnoff, or it might interest you. You should know where you fall on the spectrum of "distaste for the 1970s style in music".
The record kicks off with Nook, a jazzy funky drum riff and a goofy organ sound. This comes across as more jazz like than anything else here, and kicks off the record with a nice little beat.
The single and standout track Ultra Pink is next. This is dominated by a silly little keyboard trill that bounces along and, in a way, it reminds me of the first part of Funkytown. Hulett's varies between a deadpan vocal recitation and a bit of wailing, pushing her voice a bit harder here than she does otherwise. It's a fun little song.
Plinth is a light keyboard riff alongside a rolling bass line. But on Not My Kinda Movie Nadine comes close to sounding like The Blue Nile. No one really sounds like them, but her clear voice, the tapped drums, and the keyboard chugging with a bit off fuzz all conspire to remind of A Walk Across the Rooftops. Nicely done.
New Step burbles like an easy listening tune from 1974, while on That Neon Sign she sings acapella for a bit, her voice clear and echoing. The band eventually swells up around her with a droning organ bit, which is a nice effect.
Pews, another standout track, is up next, and the band channel Fujiya and Miyagi, especially in the drums and that rolling bass riff. There is a happy little keyboard riff here, and that really makes the tune. This is really nice.
The next song is odd. It is called Contigo and is built of an organ drone, some odd clattering discussion, and her voice echoed in layers. It is very odd, but at the points where she sings her voice here reminds me of Melissa Mileski of Atlanta band Underwater. Still, this song doesn't work that well -- it is odd and arrhythmic.
Little Self In The Garden is more post-rock. Everything is a whisper, just a bare hush. Her voice is echoed alongside a simple piano line and some tinkling percussion. This song is so light it is as if it is barely there.
They take it straight back to the 70s with Can't Be Helped, the clear voice and the light guitar and organ, alongside a drum machine. That organ though -- it appears to have ended up here after getting lost on the way to a Bread tune!
And finally the record ends with Peace In The Valley. There is an odd keyboard sound wavering, but Hulett harmonizes with one of the guys in a very nice way. I like the backing vocal here a lot. This is a nice end to the record.
This is a pleasant record. It is unchallenging, but not bland. Some of the references though, some of things that i hear, remind me too much of 1970s radio schlock. As Santayana warned us, those who do not learn from pop music history are doomed to repeat the excesses of the 1970s and become a Bread cover band.
Nadine is perilously close to that.