Two years passed before Philly singer-songwriter Andrea Nardello could put pen to pad and chime out a love song for which she wrote for her girlfriend. Echo, her seven-song EP, comprises Nardello’s self-awareness of who she is as an artist and a human being. Choosing the best batch out of twenty demoed tracks, Echo comes at a time of rejuvenation for the singer. She wrote “Home to Me,” a cut on the record, to her girlfriend, embodied by authentic romantics and a folky sound that would make an lover googly-eyed. “You are home to me,” Nardello bluntly sings. These are four simple words that mean the world to a significant other. If that isn’t enough, check out the rest of Echo’s earnest storytelling.
“Beautiful Girls” showcases that Melissa Etheridge attitude, a tribute to femininity that is less in your face than “Bitch” but packs more grounded honesty than Beyonce. Here, there are even hints of Tracy Chapman with a laid-back swag and chill vocals. Lyrically, it can come across as preachy and trite that the best of Colbie Caillat can overcome, but the product is helped by the relevance of its subject matter.
“One Good Reason Why” has Nardello at her most confident. It’s not overproduced and with its simplicity in instrumentals, her lyrics are allowed to breathe on their own. While most others would wail, Nardello keeps it low-key and straight while delivering a tale of longing and missing a love. “Smelling your perfume, listening to our favorite song/ You changed our plans, and I can’t figure out what went wrong/ You’re moving a long, long way from here/ You need your space/ I’ll keep the distance/ I miss your face/ And it shows on mine,” she sings with gravity. It’s heart breaking to hear, but Nardello’s breezy coolness feels more like a confident voice for any listener who can relate.
Things pick up with fourth track “Back to Where We Started,” packaged with a 90’s alt-vibe while tonally staying consistent with the rest of the album. So far, Nardello successfully displays her songwriting skills, letting the words heard dictate the emotions felt. “Things I know/ It was good while it lasted/ Things I know/ You still leave me heavy-hearted,” Nardello states convincingly. There’s a maturity to her look at relationships that allude to being just fine even if things did not work out. This can be seen in “I Am The Water” where she argues she can still flow along okay without the person who plays her like a puppet and criticizes her every move, asking: “You’re not permanent/ Why’d I need you then?” Move along, girl.
Echo’s highlights come in the form of “Why Can’t You Be Happy,” an uptempo take on embracing self and being content with what you have all the while resisting cheesy sermons on loving who you are, and “Give Me It All” closes the record on a high note by simply making you wanna drink and dance. Whether romantic or comforting, Nardello’s Echo runs the gamut of emotions while being neither overtly sappy nor cheerful.
by Erman Baradi