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June 22, 2024

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Republic of Two (Kimchee Records)

By: Scott D. Lewis

Considering her amazing showing at the Grammies, and subsequently at the cash register, we are likely about to be overrun with Norah Joneses. While the bay area's Nedelle (multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Nedelle Torrisi and band) has more than a passingly similar take on jazz-pop as does Jones (who owes buckets to that earlier Jones, Rickie Lee), she is not jumping on any bandwagon. She just happens to be following a similar muse, and that's a big distinction and reason to take her seriously. Nedelle's short-but-sweet jazz-pop songs swim gently through the air, propelled by their soft structures (the snare drum is typically the loudest instrument in the subdued arrangements) and Nedelle's singing which is equal parts sexy, soulful, and innocent. Some lazy, hazy bossa nova slips into tracks like Lament, while a sense of Parisian pop informs tracks such as Too Late. Nedelle loses some of her footing on the album's slower, stripped-down confessions, but she always regains her balance and spins out another curious, intoxication contemporary torch song. A satisfying debut and ample reason to watch for more.
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