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Nadia Reid's Latest Release Is A Traveling Album Full Of Road Songs

Mar 9, 2020
Originally published on March 7, 2020 11:04 am
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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Until a couple of years ago, Nadia Reid had never been far away from New Zealand.

NADIA REID: I live in a place called Dunedin, which is sort of at the lower end. I was born in Auckland, which is the top of the North Island.

SIMON: The water, the mountains, the trees, the birds - New Zealand was her whole world, and a beautiful one. Then she released her second album, "Preservation," and Nadia Reid went from playing crowds of 30 people or so in pubs all over New Zealand to touring extensively in Europe and other parts of the world. The travel was exhilarating. It also made her homesick. So Nadia Reid turned to what she knows best - songwriting. Now those songs have turned into her new album. It's called "Out Of My Province."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HIGH AND LONELY")

REID: (Singing) I rode around my island. I tried to find that feeling.

A couple of years ago, I would've probably said that touring isn't - you know, it wouldn't have been my choice of where and how to write. But for some reason, I found myself - yeah - feeling quite inspired during that time. And it was a hard year, really, you know, being away from home and being on the road. But there was so much growth and learning that came with those tours.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HIGH AND LONELY")

REID: (Singing) They say that suffering will make a woman wiser.

I'd just come off the end of my last European tour, then my guitarist and I parted ways. And I just really wanted to sort of hear myself think again. So I went to the Amalfi Coast in Italy. It was really challenging, actually, to isolate myself like that. I sort of had this ritual of I'd go out in the day, walk around and, you know, eat Italian food. And then I'd come back, make coffee and just kind of just try and purge some songs. And I wrote "The Other Side Of The Wheel" there.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WHEEL")

REID: (Singing) How does it feel on the other side of the wheel?

The lyric, the other side of the wheel, is sort of referring to coming full circle, of being on the other side of the world, of being on the other side of a period of growth.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WHEEL")

REID: (Singing) I feel free for the first time. I am lonely, but it's not for the last time.

You know, as I was turning 27, which I did, and as I was making the record - I'm 28 now, but I felt like I was, you know, coming out of this cycle of growing, and that was a good feeling. It felt very liberating.

SIMON: Nadia Reid describes "Out Of My Province" as a traveling album full of road songs. Just one song refers to a specific place. It's called "Oh Canada."

REID: The way it came to me was, literally, I said, I really want to go to Canada and play. I sort of was having this moment of discovering all these new artists that were Canadian. And I'm a very big fan of Rufus Wainwright and Martha Wainwright and Joni Mitchell.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "OH CANADA")

REID: (Singing) I would like to go to Canada. I have never been there before.

I wrote it in Portugal, where we had a couple of days off. It wasn't a sort of hugely conscious process writing the song. But then when I think back on it, I think that Canada is everywhere in all things. So it's metaphorical as well as being, you know, basically, I would like to go there. That's as simple as it is.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "OH CANADA")

REID: (Singing) There are things I haven't told you. I know it keeps us apart.

And I still haven't been to Canada, so it'll be awkward when we get there. But I do hope that it happens this year.

SIMON: Maybe for her next world tour. Nadia Reid's new album, "Out Of My Province."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "OH CANADA")

REID: (Singing) Coming home. Home to... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.