17 Oct 2017
UsernamePassword

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Nina McSweeney - The Bitter Sea Album Review

07 Feb 2013 // A review by Alistar3000

The first thing that strikes you when you hear opening track Lost In Translation on Nina McSweeney’s debut solo album is the remarkable similarity to Portishead. It’s not just the downbeat backing track, it’s that Nina’s voice sounds eerily like Portishead’s Beth Gibbons. Fortunately the similarities don’t last long, with Nina finding her own voice fairly quickly; it’s a voice that will be familiar to fans of Concord Dawn, as Nina has been a regular contributor to their work.

The Bitter Sea is a strong album, full of quirks and interesting hooks that only improve with repeated listens. It’s also quite a dark album, full of melancholy, introspection, and more than a touch of sorrow. It’s that darkness that makes it interesting to listen to; this definitely isn’t a pop album, yet is very easy to listen to.

I found the songs just got stronger and stronger as the album progressed, with Someone Told Me and Falling From Grace towards the tail of the album being my favourites, and the catchiest tracks too; I’d find snatches of the tunes would pop into my head for hours after listening to the album – definitely a sign of some strong songs.

The Bitter Sea
View Track Listing

About Nina McSweeney

“A ghostly hybrid of delta blues, bluegrass and alternative folk, Nina McSweeney’s debut album ‘The Bitter Sea’ effortlessly soars and grinds through the nine beautifully-crafted tracks… When McSweeney does dive head-first into the venerable history of the blues she still manages to create something authentic and original sounding…Throughout the album, she manages to never overplay her hand, showing a restrained and tasteful songwriting style that leaves the listener wanting to start the whole album over again as soon as it finishes.” - NZ Musician Magazine

Vengeful Japanese spirits met by the river like a lover, a compulsion crawling beneath the skin like an insect, and the downward pull of the ocean’s welcomed embrace. Welcome to ethereal world of Auckland songstress Nina McSweeney, and the haunting beauty of her debut album 'The Bitter Sea'

Nina McSweeney, who is best known for her collaborations with popular drum & bass artist Concord Dawn (most notably on the track 'Easy Life' and again on 'The River' from the NZ Music Award winning album 'Air Chrysalis') is a prolific and multi faceted artist. She has performed as both a vocalist and blues harmonica player on stages local and international, including the Monterey Jazz festival, Homegrown and Rhythm & Vines festivals and has opened for the likes of the Black Crowes, Silverchair and Powderfinger. She currently shocks and astounds as half of the electric dirty delta blues duo Bat Country.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Nina McSweeney

Releases

The Bitter Sea
Year: 2013
Type: Album

Other Reviews By Alistar3000

Primacy - Single Review: Shade Black
15 Oct 2015 // by Alistar3000
Auckland 5-piece Primacy are one of those bands that don’t try and hide their influences; their new single Shade Black is a healthy blend of all that was good about ‘90s rock, and that’s not a bad thing. Starting out with a Tool-like intro that soon gives way to a heavier, chugging riff, the song maintains a freshness and urgency throughout.
Read More...
Cairo Knife Fight - Album review: The Colossus
11 Jun 2015 // by Alistar3000
Having seen Cairo Knife Fight perform live many times over the past few years I’d always been under the assumption they were performing songs from a number of prior recordings. So I was a little surprised to discover that The Colossus was actually their first album (they do have a few EPs recorded), and more surprised to find that long time guitarist Aaron Tokona (AHoriBuzz) was no longer a key part of the band, and makes only a small appearance on the album – with that revelation I didn’t know what to expect when I pressed play.
Read More...
Mel Parsons - Album Review: Drylands
05 May 2015 // by Alistar3000
Back in 2011 I reviewed Mel Parsons' second album Red Grey Blue and enjoyed it – it had some well written songs, was well produced, and was easy to listen to. When I first popped in her latest album Drylands, I thought she’d taken a bit of a different path to the alt-country that dominated her first album.
Read More...
Album Review: Tahuna Breaks Live 10
02 Apr 2015 // by Alistar3000
It’s hard to believe that Tahuna Breaks is celebrating 10 years making music together, although they do seem to have always been around, and I guess if anyone’s going to be keeping a record of how long they’ve been making their brand of funkified reggae, it’d be them. To celebrate the occasion they’ve release Tahuna Breaks Live 10 – 10 tracks spanning their career, recorded live last year at a one-off concert to celebrate the milestone (so I guess the album should actually be called 10 + 6 months).
Read More...
State Of Mind - EP Review: Until The World Ends
12 Feb 2015 // by Alistar3000
Auckland drum and bass duo State of Mind are no strangers to collaboration, having worked with the likes of Tiki Taane and PNC to craft some big hitting tracks that achieved a lot of airplay. This time round they’re working with the trio from Black Sun Empire, hailing out of the Netherlands, produce the heavy hitting Until The World Ends EP together.
Read More...
Album Review: Latinaotearoa in Latinoamerica
09 Dec 2014 // by Alistar3000
When I started reading about the concept behind the second Latinaotearoa album it sounded like a good idea and I was quite excited to have a listen to it. If you’re not familiar with the story, Auckland musician Isaac Aesili (Solaa, Opensouls, Eru Dangerspiel, Funkommunity) teamed up once again with Venezualan singer Jennifer Zea, and Brazilian-born DJ Bobby Brazuka, to research and write a bunch of songs in Brazil, then record the album of Latin-influenced tunes in Brazil and Auckland with guest appearances by some great musicians (such as Raiza Biza, Julien Dyne, Riki Gooch and Miguel Fuentes) – what should, on paper, lead to some great experimentation and crossovers of styles.
Read More...
Beastwars Live at San Fran, Wellington 10/10/2014
21 Oct 2014 // by Alistar3000
I was finding it hard to believe that it’d been over 18 months since I last saw Beastwars play in Wellington as I stumbled on down to the newly refurbished San Fran in Wellington last week. I’m not sure why it’d taken me so long to go back to Wellington’s number one metal (or at least heavy rock) band, especially since they’d never disappointed me before.
Read More...
Into Orbit - Caverns Album Review
24 Aug 2014 // by Alistar3000
Wellington two piece noisemakers Into Orbit have an appropriate name for the kind of music they’ve created on their new album Caverns; it’s spacey feeling, often out there and is sure to take off. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect from the album before listening to it (or even if I’d like it at all), but came away a devoted fan after having it on constant repeat for a couple of days while I explored everything it had to offer (I’m still not there yet, not even close).
Read More...
View All Articles By Alistar3000

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • ROCKSTAR
    Post Malone feat. 21 Savage
  • HAVANA
    Camila Cabello feat. Young Thug
  • YOUNG, DUMB AND BROKE
    Khalid
  • NEW RULES
    Dua Lipa
  • TOO GOOD AT GOODBYES
    Sam Smith
  • SILENCE
    Marshmello feat. Khalid
  • WHAT LOVERS DO
    Maroon 5 feat. SZA
  • DUSK TILL DAWN
    ZAYN feat. Sia
  • FEEL IT STILL
    Portugal. The Man
  • GLORIOUS
    Macklemore feat. Skylar Grey
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem