Dublin singer Amanda Dempsey, known by her stage moniker ‘Nara’ exploded onto the Irish circuit a few months back with her debut single ‘Honey Trap’. That track was a confident statement of intent from the young singer-songwriter; a perfect blend of silky vocals, smooth production and evocative lyrics, which left listeners longing for more.
Skip ahead to December and Nara gives us another tantalising glimpse into what the future holds with her sublime second single ‘Reality’.
Collaborating with producer SpaceGhost, Nara once again offers up a shimmering, elegant slice of contemporary neo-soul which draws favourable comparisons to the likes of Erykah Badu, Lauren Hill and even perhaps Prince at his most laid back.
If ‘Honey Trap’ was Nara working her way through the gears, ‘Reality’ is the equivalent of the artist focussing on a particular topic and exploring it to the best of her capabilities.
In this instance, Nara beckons the listener to join her in contemplating a year in which reality has become warped and barely recognisable. It’s universally relatable.
Lyrically the song is clever in its simplicity, as Nara stares at events occurring outside her window, wondering when will the world ever go back to normal. While the subject matter may be maudlin, Nara’s quick turn of phrase keeps the song upbeat and stirs up a real sense of hopefulness for the future.
SpaceGhost’s production beautifully compliments Naras exquisite, silken voice by combining elements of chillwave and smooth R’&’B to create a beautifully fluid sonic backdrop. Of course, there’s not a crack or blemish to be found in Nara’s vocal performance. She has a great understanding of when to rev the engine in order to achieve maximum emotional resonance and utilises a soft, whispery technique here to create an intimate connection with the listener.
Nara’s second single ‘Reality’ is another step in the right direction for a singer who is becoming more and more confident with each release. I wouldn’t bet against 2021 being a banner year for a singer who sets her own pace, makes her own rules and shapes her own reality.