Emilia Cataldo aka Nehedar, hailing from Long Island City, New York, just pulled the scene in an unexpected but welcome direction of inner discovery with her new LP, “Hello Abyss”, that first dropped on March 15. Nehedar lets it all out, albeit in a very cheerful and radio-friendly way, as she says hello to an “abyss” that seemed, up to a point, to fill her and surround her on all sides.

Listen to Nehedar’s new album “Hello Abyss” now: (via Spotify)

Nehedar is a singer-songwriter who found her own style and personal take on alternative pop early on. While Emilia Cataldo is called by her stage name Nehedar all the time, Nehedar is also the name of one of her personal music projects. One could say that her Nehedar project is actually the creation of an artist, based on her personality and rolling with the sound she grew up to love, that’s also still sort of been set apart from Emilia herself all this time.

Nehedar, or Emilia, began her musical career way back, before 2003. Back then, the bulk of her budding journey as an artist was singing the music she wrote and composed herself, in venues all over New York City: from Williamsburg in Brooklyn all the way to Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

Little Pioneer was a strong influence on the sound and the artist that Nehedar is today. The two recorded music together and collab’ed in his studio in Brooklyn back in the day. The first album that Nehedar ever released, “Pick Your Battles”, found its way into the scene, and since then Nehedar’s set off an amazing record of dropping a whole new album for every following year.

While she did vanish for three years, as she went on hiatus to be there for her son growing up, she’s now back with her new LP, “Hello Abyss”. Famed guitarists Shaul Zuckerberg and Tim Rockmore make Nehedar’s latest artistic venture even bigger and better. Nehedar’s LP is chock full of 90’s rock and 80’s electronic music that will make any listening session a blast.

Check out Nehedar’s music video for “The Story”:

Nehedar opens up her soul-searching journey album, “Hello Abyss” – by the way, it’s honestly more like a smooth ride, a cruise if you will – with “The Story”. It’s the most excitingly upbeat yet relaxingly soothing song on the entire album, and it’s clearer than day why Nehedar made it the first.

Nehedar also chose to pair the opener that sets off the “Hello Abyss” joy ride with a futuristic music video. The brilliant animation features Nehedar as a human being who soon fades away and transforms into a digital version of herself. She eventually dissolves into countless bits and pixels, and then shifts back, but this time into a clone-like army of herself. It’s like an awesome music player visualization meets animated music video where you can’t predict what will turn up next, all while the amazing live view is being backed by Nehedar’s energetic yet chill voice.

Next up are “Catacombs” and “Shedding Skin”, where Nehedar gets even more chill and relaxed, if that’s even possible after the “The Story” mini-listening experience just wrapped up. Nehedar switches it up, but just a little in “How”, where she adds a variety of soul-flavored tinges and ballad-like vocals to the mix.

Nehedar gets more serious in the following track “Happy Birthday”. Not your usual song full of greetings and well-wishes, the song features the singer-songwriter who’s played in places all over NYC sharing some hard-earned wisdom, straight from the deep well of her life experience: “You’re never too young to know which way not to go”.

It’s a very poetic way to say to believe in yourself, not only to go in a positive direction, but also to trust that you won’t let yourself be vulnerable somewhere you can get harmed. It’s a nice personal touch from Nehedar, and there’s definitely more depth and meaning than what meets the eye at first glance.

Up next is the touchingly titled “You’re Beautiful When You Fall Apart”, a track that’s more than “that one” with a tinge of 60’s rock. It’s a heartwarming and soul-touching track straight off the bat, with its title alone that’s full of refreshing empathy.

Nehedar places “Fear and Love” to roll into next, bringing up the one and then the other and just seeing what happens, all while singing music that’s really enjoyable. Nehedar takes you on the spot to dive straight to rock bottom in “The Grudge”, and this time everything becomes so much more intense than the previous two numbers.

Nehedar tries to close the metaphorical freshly opened wound with “Tonight Tonight” and the final track “Sotah”, but things are still brimming with angst. Nehedar manages to dissolve the feelings that are more down than usual just in time, to close her “Hello Abyss” LP on a high note and also to build a bridge for the next listen, and more future listens.

Get Nehedar’s “Hello Abyss” LP on Bandcamp now, or get it on iTunes here.

Track List:

  1. The Story
  2. Catacomb
  3. Shedding Skin
  4. How
  5. Happy Birthday
  6. You’re Beautiful When You Fall Apart
  7. Fear and Love
  8. The Grudge
  9. Tonight Tonight
  10. Sotah

Nehedar’s distinct alternative take on pop has been compared to the styles of Regina Spektor and Ani DiFranco, and has even been cleverly described as “The Go-Gos meet Alanis Morissette“.

Emilia Cataldo, Craig Levy, Tim Rockmore, and Shaul Zuckerberg joined Nehedar and rocked the instrumentals, while she took the spotlight to let her voice be heard in the studio and on stage. Craig Levy led the production of Nehedar’s new “Hello Abyss” LP.

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