Back in March I enthused about my friend nalaladina's music, when she had put some mixes of tracks from her forthcoming album on her Myspace site. Well, today I got an IM from her that I just found, telling me about another Myspace site she had just set up regarding a new project of hers, of which I had only heard whispers. Unlike Shripwrecked: From Birmingham to Jericho Without Prozac, this new effort is recorded without a backing band, just her voice and her (increasingly-trademark) harp. Yes, harp. Dina was given a small Celtic harp some years back, but rather than learning Irish Trad music or anything of the sort, she just simply started playing the music she already had coming out of her on this new instrument, creating her own folk-rock sound in the process. Well, the IM just gave me excuse to enjoy just the perfect kind of musical oasis that I want when I get to spend the entire day grading all these exams.
On this forthcoming EP, Fallen Paper Towels, Nadina and her harp give you everything. There is the ironic, heartbreakingly-happy sounds of "Paper Towels," confronting the images of the now-lost life we thought we would one day have, where the harp stands in for one might imagine would have been the guitar or banjo of another folk artist. But you also hear "One More Glass of Rum," where the harp underscores the exotic melody of Nadina's vocal line and begins to sounds more and more like a full orchestra as the song spins and draws you in. Again, the songs strike me as some of the most distinctly feminine music I have ever heard, and the most strong as well, underneath an all-too-real human fragility. By all means, help yourself to her downloads, and let her know what you think. Maybe I'll see you in line when the full project is released.