Here’s the atmospheric new single from Nadine Khouri. ‘Vertigo’ is built upon pulsing, rhythmic bass and layers of keys, over which Khouri’s resonant vocal is superb. Towards the end, the song builds towards the moment when soaring backing vocals create a hymn-like feel; it’s stirring and a genuinely impactful end to a well-crafted song. Throughout, Khouri’s singing is hypnotic and the overall sound is dreamy and ethereal, transporting the listener into some other reality. Acclaimed Lebanese film-maker Tariq Keblaoui has put together a brilliantly-shot video, recorded in Beirut; it’s a very effective visual accompaniment. We follow Khouri through the streets at night with moody lighting and softly focused scenes rendering the city beautiful as a backdrop.
The British-Lebanese singer was inspired to write ‘Vertigo’ by events in Lebanon, as she explains: “2020 was a period of upheaval around the world; in the case of my country of origin, those events were cataclysmic. The demonstrations in Beirut following the devastating port explosion on August 4th were definitely on my mind when writing the song. On the whole, I wanted this record to sound more direct than the previous one; though there is a lot on there about being in a liminal place, between past and present, presence and absence.” Producer John Parish adds: “Nadine’s voice is undeniably beautiful. But as well as beauty, there is an intimacy that makes her images come alive, and a gravitas that focuses her anger, particularly when directed at the corruption she sees in her homeland.”
‘Vertigo’ is taken from Khouri’s second album, which has been released today, 18th November 2022. On ‘Another Life’, Khouri’s songs are more sonically rich and textured than on her debut, the more more sparse ‘The Salted Air’. Parish says of the new material: “I think Nadine has grown in confidence, and this led to a more focussed recording than the first album – which I still love by the way!” The new album is themed around loss and change, including the people who have left us, places that have altered beyond recognition, fading memories and ways of life that have disappeared in the face of progress. Khouri says: “When the pandemic happened and I was stuck between four walls in London, it was hard not to start excavating the past – people that I knew that are no longer with us, lives I’ve lived that seemed lost or far from me. I was writing so that I wouldn’t forget a lot of things for good.” Check out the new album today.