“Self-discovery” has come to represent something of a cliché when used by singer-songwriters embarking on inward journeys, conjuring images of desolate log cabins, physical hardship, and facing bitter truths. But there’s nothing overtly dramatic about New Zealander Nadia Reid’s approach – she simply travelled the world playing gigs – and this softness shines through her gentle, lilting music, which is more a quietly lapping lake than choppy, churning waters; not for her soaring crescendos and fiery bombast. Instead, she paints in delicate little flourishes, occasionally leaving space for a note or thought to hang in the air.
The songs bustle along smoothly, sometimes comprising only of guitar and elegant synth washes, occasionally straying into heartland-Americana territory. ‘I Come Home To You’ is pure Sharon Van Etten brilliance, while ‘Right On Time’ aims for the Drivetime Radio 2 crowd. But what shines through the most is Reid’s confidence – with herself, her music, and what she’s trying to do – and ‘Preservation’ proves that whatever she discovered on her journey, it was very much a worthwhile undertaking.