If you’re looking to be taken to another place – to be elevated to something outside of yourself, then give Nessi Gomes’ ‘Diamonds and Demons’ album the time it deserves. This is not something to just have playing in the background; her music is going to do something to you, speaking to your soul – if you let it.
With a voice that is both striking and authentically beautiful, Nessi’s unique tone engulfs you in other-worldly goodness, inviting you into her circle. Her lyrics are emotive, raw, honest, pure and heartfelt. ‘Into the Earth’ has a haunting chorus line that connects you with something beyond here and now. ‘The wind blows through my hair’ makes you think of metaphorical dark winter days on the coastline, pushing you – testing you; you struggle on.
With a natural talent that cannot be disputed, it’s hard to pick favourites on this album as each song brings something different to the table; something that will hit you deep within your very core. Although unmistakably Nessi, every song is unique in its own right.
‘Can you break on through to the other side?
Do you tell yourself things that ain’t so kind?
Can you feel the worms wriggle in my mind?’
That inner voice gnawing away that we so often battle with each day is honourably captured in ‘These Walls’. We all have it; Nessi writes on our behalf.
Lingering layers of strings, woven through the melancholic melody of ‘Diamonds and Demons’ guide us into a contrasting duet part-way through, where that internal sadness of the lyrics lifts. Safely protected by the warm embrace of Sam Lee’s accompanying vocals, this additional voice serves as a symbolic support, enabling Nessi’s raw pain to rise to the surface and be undressed in the sunlight.
‘Falling Birds’ is a song I have listened to over and over and each time I do, I find something new within it. It started out as my go-to track that I first gave more attention to than the other songs and in doing so, has become a familiar friend. Having said that, it never loses its initial impact that hit me on the first listen. There’s something enchanting about her voice, combined with the stirring strings and soft beating undertones that would serve as the perfect fit for a movie soundtrack. Explore what images your mind creates as you listen.
For those who have a musical background, you will appreciate Nessi’s enunciation in ‘Long Way Home’. Perfectly balanced, with each word resoundingly clear, without being forced; it flows naturally with a kindness in vocal form. I challenge you not to feel tingles as you hear her sing ‘I’ll be back at dawn. Got to walk this road alone.’ As for the way she sings ‘leaves on the ground’ and ‘tears in her eyes’ – boy is this woman gifted. Despite the length of this track, it feels like only a few brief moments pass by while listening to it in its entirety. ‘Don’t drift into suspicious corners of your mind’ – how does she know?
‘All Related’ has an almost gypsy-like feel to it, conveying movement and magic. The intriguing concept that we are all related in love is both true and refreshing. We often perceive our experience of love to be something personal and unique to us, something that we own and only share with our beloved. Should that connection end, we believe the love is lost and reside to the life of the broken-hearted. How refreshing to consider that all of us have that love – it’s a communal force that we can give to and take from in equal measure.
Powerful imagery within ‘Don’t Jump In’ will have your imagination engaged and standing to attention. A clear warning that all is not what it seems – ‘it’s not real’ – can be interpreted as you wish. Chances are, you’ve been there.
Pleading to be healed by the symbolic cleansing of the sea, ‘Hold My Hand’ hits a nerve with anyone who has ever got to the point where things seem hopeless. Asking for the ocean to wash away every lie within, insistently throwing our ‘hell into the fire’, and breathing through the despair of unanswered prayers so that we can just ‘be’. As the song unfolds, and switches up to into a new realm (4:30 minutes in), a gentleness prevails. Shifting beyond giving up and the disabling entrapments of fear, a new hope emerges. The rousing strings and soulful guitar mirror the comforting lyrics that ‘all our darkness will turn to light’.
Devoid of the personal forgiveness that the rest of the songs on this album carry, ‘What Have We Done?’ has a very different feel to it. A strong, solid beat combined with electric elements, carries an anger inside that pushes you to a slightly uncomfortable place where you have to question actions that could have been avoided. The abrupt ending gives this track an unusual home; an unexpected surprise that I really liked.
This edgy feel is sustained at the beginning of the final song ‘You Guided Me’. As the rightful track to end this album with, everything to love in the previous tracks is pulled together in one: the imagery of light and forgiveness; the eternal hope that things will come good again; that folky essence that taps into our ancient roots; the stronger bass line and beat that we were introduced to in the penultimate track; and an uplifting happiness in knowing that life will go on, pain can be worked through and we can come out the other side, better for it.
Thank you Nessi for birthing this album and for giving us something magical, original and inspiring. As you urge us to do so in ‘Long Way Home’, the takeaway message for me has to be:
‘Take a breath of life and let the goodness in
You see it’s all around you
You just have to let it in.’