Weekend Intermission – néomí (Suriname/Netherlands) – skipping stone (single)
Weekend Intermission is our regular feature where we look at an artist or band not from the Nordic countries, just to mix things up a bit.
For some reason néomí seems to like lower case, it isn’t my bad grammar, guv.
The Surinamese-Dutch artist was last here almost a year ago with her debut single, ’if i wasn’t made for love’, and in the review I commented on her “admirable” vocal abilities, her “effortless power” which out me in mind of the Australian Gordi, and identified “a fine prospect indeed.”
And that power-laden contralto voice is very much in evidence again here in ‘skipping stone’. It is so potent in fact that it sounds like there are several néomís singing and that’s without any apparent vocal multi-tracking and the contribution of a synth-generated choral effect.
The gentle little guitar arpeggio which opens the song, repeats mid-way through and then plays it out is something of a red herring. It builds to, and sustains, a minor anthem while the placid and more frenetic parts of the song combine to paint it picture of the two sides of the dilemma she confronts.
‘skipping stone’ references a ‘shall I/shan’t I?’ decision that has to be made about a relationship, namely do I jump in at the deep end and risk drowning, or do I just skim along the surface, hoping that I’ll be able to make enough waves to retain the attention of the desired one?
I mentioned last year that her initial influences were Ben Howard, Bon Iver and Bob Dylan, but mainly for their lyricism. Perhaps it’s my imagination but I’m sure I hear elements of Peter Gabriel in this song too (and he isn’t half bad at writing either) but maybe it’s just my imagination.
This is the second track from her second EP, ‘after’, scheduled for release in April (the first one was called ‘before’); another set of contradictions to ponder.
‘skipping stone’ was out January 12th through PIAS.
néomí will be performing at EUROSONIC NOORDESLAG 2023 and also recently announced her debut headline show at Paradiso, Amsterdam on 7th May.
She plays in a charity concert at Union Chapel, London on 6th February.
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