Celebrated British-Lebanese singer/songwriter Nadine Khouri makes a powerful return since her debut with The Salted Air. Her new offering – recorded in London between tour commitments – is a 3-track EP entitled A New Dawn showcasing a quiet confidence with its delicate sultry atmosphere.
Starting off the EP is the titular track, gorgeous as it opens with droning harmonium before cascading into a blend of guitar and mesmerising backing vocals. This track captures a real atmospheric folk sound: the very sound that became and remains Khouri’s signature.
Follow-up track ‘To Sleep’, a lullaby which sees Khouri’s string guitar and violinist Basia Bartz play a hypnotising string guitar backed by a flurry of harmonium and piano, does exactly what it says on the tin, as it lulls you to sleep. It’s a track for the anxious music lovers out there, effortlessly calming and leaving you with a dreamlike experience.
Finally comes the eight-minute soaring orchestral piece ‘The Hours’. Starting off with a bluesy sound that is similar to its predecessors, the track picks up momentum as it reaches an epic gypsy rock finale, which showcases Khouri’s strong vocal range. Despite being eight minutes long, it’s a track that passes by quickly and leaves you wanting more.
Self-produced, and with help of Jake Long (drums), Khouri’s long-time musical collaborator J Allen (backing vocal, organ), Lizzy O’Connor (backing vocal, percussion) Vince Webb (piano) and Alan Weatherhead , A New Dawn is a magnificent offering driven by subtle nuances and is a powerful return for the singer.
Compact, melancholic and yet somehow soothing, this beautifully written and brilliantly performed EP manages you to transport you to a faraway place while still keeping you grounded. With this EP, it seems that Khouri has perfected the art of delivering music that is vast and intimate at the same time.