Album Review: Neda - Daylight Disguise (2013 EP)

Daylight Disguise is the debut EP of self-proclaimed alternate folk pop artist Neda.

Neda’s transition into music has been a slow and winding journey, much like her former occupation as a train driver. When driving 30,000 tonne trains across abandoned areas of Western Australia, Neda made the decision to pursue a full time career in music.

Her path from there is a series of unclear twists and turns. In 2010 Neda released a single “Better Than Leaving” simply under the name Tenielle. There was also a short stint on Australian Idol, where Neda made the top 24 in 2009 under the name Tenielle Muslin. The judges appreciated her unique country style, although early doubts were placed on her vocal ability, especially by guest judge Delta Goodrem.

Since then Neda has undergone a transformation, perhaps due to the musical figures she’s surrounded herself with. Having toured and worked with Tim Hart [solo artist and drummer from Boy & Bear] and the incredibly talented Stu Larsen, Neda’s music has seen a slight shift from country pop to a more folk style.

Daylight Disguise proves Neda’s vocal capabilities, which have improved further since her Idol appearance. Neda’s live performances are no exception to this, where her Jewel-like voice enchants and captivates her audience.

“Dream of Flying” is the debut single off the EP, a track the walks the line between country and pop. Despite Neda’s raw potential, the song fails to make an impression beyond a series of repetitive high notes. Second song “Either Way” is reminiscent of an early Delta Goodrem album track, due to the further soaring high vocals and piano backing.

The EP takes a catchy turn on “Moonshine” which features a faster beat that best showcases her country influences. “The Sound” is the slowest track on Daylight Disguise, and moves Neda’s music into Feist territory. “The Sound” provides a diversity otherwise not shown on the EP, however Neda’s strength lies in songs more country and folk inspired.

“Innocence” rounds out Daylight Disguise bringing Neda back to her country pop beginnings. “Innocence” and “Moonshine” provide the highlights of the EP, and the debut single would have been better chosen from these two tracks.

Although the EP is melodically forgettable, the songwriting is vastly superior. Neda co-wrote the EP with names including Adrian Deutsch from the Red Riders, Andy Bull, Tim Derricourt from Dappled Cities and Lisa Miller on the five track release.

Daylight Disguise is a disappoint for an artist with such proven potential. Although there are thoughtful and profound lyrics showcased on the EP, these are largely missed on an EP full of unremarkable melodies.

Review score: 6 out of 10.