Hailing from the state of Washington, Nadine Van Hees is an artist who on her recent release Free Time mixes genres such as Americana, jazz and pop. Free Time is a gorgeous album any way you look at it. The songs themselves are very well written and Van Hees has a warm, very aesthetically pleasing voice. From a production standpoint Free Time sounds polished and professional.
The album kicks off with a downright irresistible song called “Star” that is sparse but completely full sounding song. It is upbeat and quite danceable despite the fact that there is no percussion. Van Hees flirts with country, bluegrass and pop on this song and she sounds at home here.
“Sooner or Later” incorporates wind instruments into the mix on top of her acoustic guitar. It creates a Dixieland vibe that feels as light as a breeze. You have a carefree feeling when you listen to the song. “Free Time” is straightforward pop that introduces percussion and electric guitar. The song is solid overall but the chorus is downright memorable when she sings, “ There is nothing more divine.” Van Hees not only has pipes but is quite a guitarist as she proves on “Free Time.” The guitar solo she pulls off is quite impressive.
Another highlight on the album is “Western Moon” in which she delivers an emotional vocal performance. The song is covered in a coat of melancholy that sounds very good on her. It’s more of a nostalgic melancholy than anything else. You can picture the smoky, dim lit jazz club when listening to “I’ll Be Seeing You.” The song combines soft played piano and sax, which serve as a suitable canvas for her to sing upon.
Free Time is quite an eclectic album and she pulls off the styles she attempts. That being said the first song “Stars” is a clear standout. It sounds the most natural and the style really fits around her voice. Maybe for her next album she can dedicate it all to the country/bluegrass vibe that she creates here.
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