Nymphya – Naked Kate (Album – WooHooYa Records)

By Jul 10,2020

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Genre/Influences: Ethereal, chanson.

Format: Digital, CD.

Background/Info: Nymphya is the sonic brainchild of Valentina O. She’s singing, playing acoustic guitar, acoustic bass and percussion while she got some help from Alex McMurray on acoustic guitar and vocals. Nymphya released a promising debut album (cf. “Dream Dance”) in 2017 and now moves on with an acoustic homage to one of her main sources of inspiration: Kate Bush. Valentina O. was a professional opera singer who pays tribute to the unique Kate Bush by covering fifteen of her songs.

Content: Covering a famous artist such as Kate Bush always is a tricky business. Nymphya tried to pay tribute to one of her idols by transposing the original songs into a very intimate atmosphere. The acoustic guitar and Valentina’s voice both are the main ingredients. It sounds like pure chanson, mostly deeply evasive with on top a great voice.

This is an opportunity to remember some of Kate Bush’s biggest hits like “Army Dreamers”, “Breathing”, “Love And Anger”, “Experimental IV”, “Hounds Of Love”, “Suspended In Gaffa” And Of Course “Running Up That Hill” or yet the duo with Peter Gabriel “Don’t Give Up”.

+ + + : This album is a huge challenge for Nymphya, but it all feels like the work wasn’t just a simple tribute to Kate Bush, but a real homage. The songs have been meticulously transposed towards the intimate universe of Nymphya. The acoustic guitar creates an intimate and very personal atmosphere. If you forget the original edits for a while you can literally feel the sensible approach of Valentina O. And the ultimate cover version is for sure “Running Up That Hill”, which is just fine. Valentina O.  confirms her great vocals’ skills. I also like the sensual pics on the artwork symbolizing the title of this cover work.

– – – : I’m still convinced covering an artist such as Kate Bush by releasing an entire album is a real challenge. Some passages and songs are a little bit monotonous, which is due to the minimal approach of the work.

Conclusion: I’m always asking myself what the original author would think about such a tribute!? One thing is for sure, there only is one Kate Bush and Nymphya is keeping her work alive…

Best songs: “Don’t Give Up”, “Love And Anger”, “Running Up That Hill”.

Rate: (6½).

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