Nadine Khouri: “Keep pushing those walls”

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On his 2010 EP A song in the city, London-based singer-songwriter Nadine Kouri began to unravel her troubled relationship with geography, particularly with Beirut, the city she and her family fled years earlier during Lebanon’s civil war. Since then, dislocation has been the guideline of Khouri’s work: her 2017 debut album salty air was written after moving from New York to London, its airy folk and rock arrangements soothing its sense of displacement. On “Keep on Pushing These Walls”, the final single from his upcoming album Another lifeKhouri addresses the late singer-songwriter Lhasa from Sela, which symbolizes the power of music to ground oneself and transcend borders: “Your voice, it could awake/A riser moon over Montreal cafés”, she sings, the words tumbling against a backdrop of knots of spangled guitar and the generating hum of a Korg Synthesizer. Working again with John Parish, the Bristol producer known for his work with PJ Harvey—Khouri sounds smoky and demure, her rich alto giving her room to shine amidst a floating drum machine, shimmering Rhodes piano, bassline like a velvet carpet. “We’ve traveled so far, transformed / At the start of your voice,” she hums, never ringing home again.

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