Seeing us through to the end of the year we’ve reached out to a number of our favourite artists and cultural creatives to join us in celebrating good things. A bunch of five things that make their world go around, inspire them or just need celebrating for what they are. There’s no theme here. It’s no kind of "best of year" round-up. These are just five things of the many things identified as making the world a better place to be. We’re all about positivity. Almost all of the time. We promise...
2022 saw the release of Nadine Khouri's intensely atmospheric, dreamy second LP, Another Life, (Talitres records) produced by John Parish (of PJ Harvey, Dry Cleaning fame). Born in Beirut, Nadine's family escaped the civil war in Lebanon, subsequently Nadine has lived in London, New York and currently Marseille on the French mediterranean coast. Probably elsewhere too. Her music, in some ways, maybe like the singer Marion Raw, has a borderless quality for sure. Nadine's recent irresistible single, Keeping on Pushing These Walls, is a gorgeous paean to the award winning mexican-american musician Lhasa de Sela. Player of beautiful guitars... Five things then, from Nadine...
Francis (who plays bass on my record) originally recommended this VST library to me and I found it incredibly inspiring while writing songs for ‘Another Life’. Felt Instruments are beautifully sampled virtual instruments by Tomek Slesicki in Poland and the sounds are breathtaking (everything from piano, to strings, to Celeste…) I came to midi quite late in life, but it really opened me up to a world of possibilities, especially when it comes to composition and writing my own arrangements, as a self-taught musician. Felt Instruments⇒
BOSS TR-2 TREMOLO PEDAL
I listened to a lot of 50s and 60s rock n’roll when I was growing up and I’ve always loved the sound of a tremolo pedal on guitar. It can sound both dreamy and moody all at once… I’m sure I overdo it on all my songs! If I had to restrict myself to one effect, I’d probably go for tremolo. More recently on tour, I had to find a substitute pedal, but couldn’t find anything I liked quite as much, that was as practical and great-sounding.
Growing up as a person navigating between three cultures (more specifically as an Arab woman) there are narratives that are invisible from mainstream discourse, if not under-represented or totally misrepresented… Al Hayya is a brilliant new bilingual magazine (in Arabic & English) from Beirut, giving voice to the works and interests of women from South West Asia and North Africa. There are a lot of things I wish were available to me in my formative years and publications like these are one of them; I’m glad they exist now. AL HAYYA MAGAZINE⇒
You’d think I’d be more likely to do this with pedals or records, but I am a self-avowed book hoarder… This huge bookshop’s been around since the early 1900s in London; I know it was bought out by Waterstones in 2018, but I still love going to Foyles on Charing Cross Road when I’m there. I love getting lost in aisles of books and finding something to read. There’s just so much available; it’s heaven to me.
THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA
I often think about the sea’s history and how it affects and connects the people surrounding it. I was born in a coastal city (Beirut) so I spent a lot of my childhood by the sea… More recently I moved to Marseille in France, which is on the other side. There is something about it that grounds me on a cellular level when it is nearby.
Main Image: Nadine Khouri by Marcin Opatczyk
Lowest Nadine image by Steve Gullick
Nadine Khouri's website⇒