Nia Devine - Southern Comfort (2011)

Nia Devine

NiaDevineAlbum.png

Click on CD cover
to listen or purchase

With her wise and winsome vocals, assuredness and eclecticism, Nia Devine is a performer who embraces her uniqueness and wears it like a badge of honor. Both a solo artist and a front woman for Ft. Lauderdale FL's resident ska-flavored band, The Methodaires, Ms. Devine displays just how bewitching she can be on her brief, yet bold, EP, Southern Comfort.  

Her voice is a conversational one that never rises to histrionics or descends into guttural wails, but it's still a powerful and affecting presence. Gentle guitar play floats across the senses and intertwines with her words in the pleading "Satisfy Me;" a simple call-in request transforms into a gnawing ache for her man in "Hey DJ;" and the swaying "Spend My Life" echoes with deep-seating longing and love. The percussive "Give In To Me" is as assertive as it is uncertain, with the title becoming an almost subliminal chant to draw the object of her desire to her lair and beyond.

With her wise and winsome vocals, assuredness and eclecticism, Nia Devine is a performer who embraces her uniqueness and wears it like a badge of honor. Both a solo artist and a front woman for Ft. Lauderdale FL's resident ska-flavored band, The Methodaires, Ms. Devine displays just how bewitching she can be on her brief, yet bold, EP, Southern Comfort.  

Her voice is a conversational one that never rises to histrionics or descends into guttural wails, but it's still a powerful and affecting presence. Gentle guitar play floats across the senses and intertwines with her words in the pleading "Satisfy Me;" a simple call-in request transforms into a gnawing ache for her man in "Hey DJ;" and the swaying "Spend My Life" echoes with deep-seating longing and love. The percussive "Give In To Me" is as assertive as it is uncertain, with the title becoming an almost subliminal chant to draw the object of her desire to her lair and beyond.

She's too edgy and unconventional to be considered straight-up R&B, but a few of the selections come close: Nia unabashedly yearns for his healing touch in the EP's most conventional turn,
"Love Sick," then acknowledges the pain and the futility of being The Other Woman even as she expresses her addiction to his charm in "Telephone Lover," which opens with a playa-playa type trying to talk her out of her doubts and insecurities, but failing miserably.

Southern Comfort will probably come across as anything but to most listeners, but for those with open minds, the EP offers a tantalizing (if severely truncated) listen to a woman who is evolving at her own pace, on her own terms, in her own way. A Miami, Florida native who's comfortable combining a variety of influences and genres into her music, Nia Devine's appeal lies in her ability to weave a tapestry of styles together and sound uniquely herself at the same time.  Southern....is admittedly rough around the edges and sounds as if it was recorded in the MONO setting (which works for some songs and against others),  but the impression it creates will stay with you long after the last song stops playing.

[You can download "Southern Comfort" for free at ReverbNation]

Notable Tracks: "Hey DJ," "Satisfy Me," "Telephone Lover"

Vocals: 3.0
Lyrics (for non-traditional fare): 3.0
Music: 3.5
Production: 3.0
SoulTracks call: Mildly recommended

By Melody Charles

 
World Premiere - Chris Jasper - "For The Love of You"
Album of the Month - Jeffrey Dennis - "Lovin On You"
Featured Album - Leon Ware - "Rainbow Deux"

Leave a comment!